Disney Schedules Live-Action Ghost in the Shell for April 14, 2017
posted on by Egan Loo
Disney has scheduled its release of DreamWorks' live-action Ghost in the Shell film for April 14, 2017. The entertainment news source Variety reported last week that Scarlett Johansson has signed on to star in this adaptation of Masamune Shirow's manga.
Disney's Touchstone Pictures banner has been distributing DreamWorks films since 2009. The studio also scheduled its 3D remake of Pete's Dragon for August 12, 2016. It swapped the release dates of Jon Favreau's live-action The Jungle Book remake (now slated for April 15, 2016) with The Finest Hours (October 9) starring Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, and Eric Bana. The Jungle Book remake's voice cast also stars Johansson, as well as Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Idris Elba.
The website Deadline noted previously that Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) would direct the 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.
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, 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.