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Paramount to Co-Produce, Co-Finance Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Film

posted on by Daryl Lee Hale
Distributor to handle film's international release

Entertainment news source Variety reported on Friday that Paramount Pictures will co-finance and co-produce the live-action Ghost in the Shell film with original producer DreamWorks. Paramount will handle the international release of the film and DreamWorks will handle the release per its original deal with Disney. The film is set to open on March 31, 2017.

Disney initially scheduled its release of the live-action film for April 14, 2017, but announced its plans to push forward the release last month. Disney's Touchstone Pictures banner has been distributing DreamWorks films since 2009.

Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Lucy, Lost in Translation) signed on to star in this adaptation of Masamune Shirow's manga, and Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) will direct off a script by William Wheeler (Hoax, The Reluctant Fundamentalist). Johansson said earlier in April that the film "will be shooting the beginning of next year, so I think we start production January or February." Deadline reported earlier this year that she was offered US$10 million for the role.

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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