Deadline Site: Scarlett Johansson Offered Ghost in the Shell Role
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
The entertainment news website Deadline reported on Thursday that Dreamworks has made a US$10 million offer to actress Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Lucy, Lost in Translation) to star in the American live-action film of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell cyber-police manga.
The website had reported last month that Dreamworks was "in early talks" with Australian actress Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) for the role, but the site noted today that talks "fizzled" and Robbie is now "looking likely" to be in DC Comics and Warner Bros. upcoming Suicide Squad film. Deadline noted that Warner Bros. would not comment on Robbie's status in the Suicide Squad film.
Deadline noted last month that Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) would direct the proposed Ghost in the Shell film off a script by William Wheeler (Hoax, The Reluctant Fundamentalist). 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.
Jamie Moss (Street Kings, Last Man Home) was originally attached to script the film when Dreamworks announced its license in 2008. Dreamworks then hired Shutter Island writer and executive producer Laeta Kalogridis to draft the film in 2009.
Variety reported in 2008 that Universal and Sony also negotiated for the rights, which the Production I.G anime studio was pitching for the manga's original publisher Kodansha. What turned the dealmaking in Dreamworks' favor was co-founder Steven Spielberg's enthusiasm for the project. The entertainment trade newspaper quotes the acclaimed director and producer: "Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite stories. It's a genre that has arrived, and we enthusiastically welcome it to Dreamworks."
The American arm of the manga's original Japanese publisher 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 Oshii's two films and Kamiyama's two Stand Alone Complex television series and spinoff feature, the Shirow's manga also inspired the current Ghost in the Shell Arise prequel anime.
Image © 2013 George Pimentel via gettyimages