About a year ago, it was announced that Scarlett Johansson cinched a lead role in the Western adaptation of the iconic cyberpunk manga and anime series, “Ghost in the Shell”(攻殻機動隊 Kōkaku Kidōtai, literally “Mobile Armored Riot Police”).
And now that production is officially underway, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have released the first image from the live-action film.
“Ghost in the Shell” tells the story of a fictional counter-cyberterrorist organisation Public Security Section 9, led by main protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid 21st century of Japan.
The series has had various film adaptations, starting with the 1995 film produced by animation studio Production I.G. An alternate story of the manga and the film was told in the TV adaptation that features Section 9’s investigations of government corruption in various incidents.
DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg had always wanted to turn it into a film and in 2008, he acquired the rights to adapt it into a live-action film. According to /FILM, the movie will based on the original manga, rather than the adaptations that followed.
Scarlett Johansson plays special ops cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi aka The Major who leads Section 9 and is devoted to taking on the most dangerous cyber criminals. The official synopsis for the film is as follows:
“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.”
Starring alongside Scarlett Johansson are Takeshi Kitano as Section 9 chief Daisuke Aramaki, Michael Pitt as Kuze; Pilou Asbæk as the Major’s second-in-command Batou, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Kaori Momoi in an unnamed role, and Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Yutaka Izumihara, and Tuwanda Manyimo as various members of Section 9.
“Ghost in the Shell” is currently in production in New Zealand as we speak. Helmed by “Snow White and the Huntsman” director Rupert Sanders, “Ghost in the Shell” is expected to be released on 31st March 2017.