The execs at Dreamworks Studios have finally locked up Scarlett Johannson as the lead actress for their upcoming live action adaptation of Mamoru Oshii’s anime classic, Ghost in the Shell.
The original anime is based on Masamune Shirow’s popular cyberpunk manga series, which follows the members of Public Security Section 9 – a special forces team comprised of former military and police personnel.
If Johannson’s credibility as an action star was at all in question (it shouldn’t have been), she silenced any doubts with her turn as the title heroine of the 2014 sci-fi action movie, Lucy. It may have been that role in particular, that increased the feasibility of casting her for the lead role in Ghost in the Shell.
Having already turned in great performances as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently her role as the title character in the movie Lucy, this next role should make her a fixture in the upper echelon of actresses sought to portray action movie heroines.
Steven Spielberg, who is a big fan of the original, has been waiting a long time for this film to start moving towards some concrete phase of production. According to Variety, attaching Johannson to this project might very well have been a much-needed catalyst for this movie to be “greenlit”.
It has also been reported, by an insider, that Paramount Studios has an option that will allow them to join the project in the capacity as financier and co-producer. Now that Johannson has “signed on the dotted line”, Paramount execs will likely make their decision in the very near future.
Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) has already been brought in to direct the movie, which will be based on William Wheeler’s (The Reluctant Fundamentalist) script. And now that they have a truly bankable name like Johannson signed to the cast, hopefully things will start moving quickly where casting and pre-production are concerned.