The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie was initially thought to be taking the lead role in Ghost in the Shell, but back in October Scarlet Johansson’s name was thrown into the mix, and now Variety confirms that it will indeed be Johansson who will play the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a woman with a cyborg body who retains a human soul.
Considering her roles in Luc Besson’s Lucy and regular appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Black Widow, Johansson is a great choice to take on such a big, action heavy role.
Rupert Sanders is on board to direct. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing the film from a script by Bill Wheeler. Mark Sourian is exec producing.
Insiders also tell Variety that Paramount has the option to come on as co-producer and financier and that decision is expected in the coming weeks.
DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of the original and has long wanted to get this film off the ground. A commitment from a star like Johansson should help in getting the pic greenlit for production.
Rupert Sanders (Snow White & The Huntsman) is directing Ghost in the Shell, from a script written by William Wheeler (The Cape). Avi Arad The Amazing Spider-Man), Steven Paul (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) and Mark Sourian (Need For Speed) are producing.
Here’s the synopsis for the original Manga, courtesy of Amazon:
Deep into the twenty-first century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on the enhancement of mechanical implants and robots are upgraded with human tissue. In this rapidly converging landscape, cyborg superagent Major Motoko Kusanagi is charged to track down the craftiest and most dangerous terrorists and cybercriminals, including “ghost hackers” who are capable of exploiting the human/machine interface and reprogramming humans to become puppets to carry out the hackers’ criminal ends. When Major Kusanagi tracks the cybertrail of one such master hacker, the Puppeteer, her quest leads her into a world beyond information and technology where the very nature of consciousness and the human soul are turned upside down.