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Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Film Posts 1st Photo of Scarlett Johansson as the Major

posted on by Egan Loo
Filming begins at New Zealand with Weta Workshop for March 2017 release

Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures presented the first image of actress Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Lucy, Lost in Translation) as the Major in their live-action Ghost in the Shell film on Thursday. The two studios confirmed that principal photography is ongoing in Wellington, New Zealand for a planned American release on March 31, 2017. The studios added that Weta Workshop and its co-founder Richard Taylor are working on the film.

The studios also presented a story synopsis:

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost in the Shell follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic's advancements in cyber technology.

In addition to Johansson, Pilou Asbæk (Lucy) will play Batou. Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) will play the Laughing Man. Director, comedian, and actor Beat Takeshi (also known as Takeshi Kitano) plays the Public Security Section 9 founder and chief Daisuke Aramaki.

Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) signed on to direct the film. Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) reworked 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. Paramount Pictures is the film's new distributor, after Dreamworks ended its distribution deal with Walt Disney Pictures. Principal photography began in Wellington, New Zealand in January.

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. Ari Arad (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), Avi Arad (formerly of Marvel Studios as well as of the Spider-Man and X-Men movie franchises), and Seaside Entertainment's Steven Paul (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) are producing. The executive producers include Michael Costigan (Prometheus), Jeffrey Silver (Edge of Tomorrow, 300), Tetsu Fujimura (Tekken), and Production I.G founder and head Mitsuhisa Ishikawa.


This article has a follow-up: Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Adds Kaori Momoi, Juliette Binoche, More Cast (2016-04-14 13:42)
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