(PCM) Variety confirmed today, January 5, that Scarlett Johansson will star in DreamWorks’ live-action remake of the futuristic police thriller, Ghost in the Shell.
Based on the manga series of the same name by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell is currently in pre-production.
Helmed by Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, DreamWorks’ adaptation comes from a script by The Hoax and The Reluctant Fundamentalist writer Bill Wheeler and is produced by Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Iron Man producer Avi Arad and Steven Paul.
Though the manga and multiple animated film series detail the missions and operations of Public Security Section 9, a counter-cyberterrorist organization in mid 21st century Japan, Variety reports that Sanders’s take on the franchise has Scarlett Johansson as part of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission.
DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg gained the rights to produce a live-action version of the original Ghost in the Shell manga back in 2008, supposedly beating out Universal and Paramount.
After starring in Luc Besson’s action packed Lucy and playing Black Widow in The Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it looks like Johansson is stretching her acting chops and really delving into the action genre.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently in post-production, but Scarlett Johansson is currently filming the Coen Brothers’ comedy, Hail, Caesar!, and Jon Favreau’s animated adaptation of The Jungle Book.
With the announcement of her role in Ghost in the Shell came questions of whether Johansson would face scheduling conflicts with Captain America: Civil War, which is slated for a May 2016 release.
Some controversy has also been raised over what some are calling Hollywood’s “whitewashing” of Ghost in the Shell. After the recent backlash against Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings for only starring white actors in predominantly Egyptian roles, we’ll have to see how the announcement of Johansson’s casting in what is most likely the main role of protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi affects the film’s production and the original manga series fans.
Stay tuned for more updates!
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