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Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Film Switches Distributors from Disney to Paramount

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

Film news website ComingSoon.net reported on Monday that Walt Disney Pictures will no longer distribute DreamWorks and Paramount's live-action Ghost in the Shell film. Variety further reports that Paramount Pictures is the film's new distributor, in addition to co-financing the film. The film is still slated for release on March 31, 2017.

The Hollywood Reporter reported last September that DreamWorks did not renew its distribution deal with Disney, and their current agreement will expire in August.

Variety's most recent description of the film's story is:

The story follows the exploits of a member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission that specializes in fighting technology-related crime.

Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Lucy, Lost in Translation) is starring in the film, and Pilou Asbæk (Lucy) will play Batou. Sam Riley (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) will play the film's villain.

Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) has signed on to direct the film. Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) is reworking the earlier drafts of the script written by William Wheeler (Hoax, The Reluctant Fundamentalist) and Jamie Moss (Street Kings). Deadline reported last year that Johansson was offered US$10 million for the lead role.

DreamWorks and Paramount are co-financing and co-producing the film. Filming will begin in Wellington, New Zealand this month.

The anime studio Production I.G pitched the rights for Masamune Shirow's original cyber-police manga on behalf of the manga's publisher Kodansha in 2007, and DreamWorks acquired the live-action film rights in 2008. Avi Arad (formerly of Marvel Studios as well as of the Spider-Man and X-Men movie franchises), Seaside Entertainment's Steven Paul, and Mark Sourian (The Ring Two) are producing.

The American arm of Kodansha began reprinting the manga in 2009, after Dark Horse Comics had the license. Kodansha also launched two new manga series based on director Kenji Kamiyama's Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex television anime series that year. In addition to Mamoru Oshii's two anime films and Kamiyama's two Stand Alone Complex television series and spinoff feature, Shirow's manga also inspired the recent Ghost in the Shell Arise prequel anime with its own tie-in feature film release and television broadcast. (DreamWorks distributed Oshii's second film in North America.)

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