You’d think that a particular passion project of one Steven Spielberg would get made with relative speed and ease, but that just hasn’t been the case for his long-desired Ghost in the Shell adaptation. Spielberg has been trying to get a live-action version of Masamune Shirow’s beloved Japanese manga off the ground for years — bolstered by promises of using state of the art technology to film the tech-heavy feature — but nothing has happened yet. That may have just changed, thanks to some possible casting buzz.
The Wrap reports that Aussie star Margot Robbie is in “early talks” to star in the film, which Rupert Sanders will direct for DreamWorks from a script by Bill Wheeler.
Shirow’s series was first published in 1989 as Kōkaku Kidōtai (which translates to “Mobile Armored Riot Police”), a manga that centers on Public Security Section 6, a counter-terrorism unit that is dedicated specifically to stopping cyber crimes. Although there’s no mention of the role that Robbie would play, it seems safe to assume she’d be cast as the kickass Motoko Kusanagi, a squad leader and the protagonist of the series (hey, sometimes assumptions are easy!). Shirow’s original vision held that Motoko is a mass-produced cyborg, though other spins on the character have slightly augmented that backstory.
Ghost in the Shell has spawned an entire brand, including the original manga, a series of animated films, and a television series. Spielberg and his DreamWorks initially picked up the film rights to the material in 2008, but since then have cycled through attached talent (names like Jamie Moss and Laeta Kalogridis were both, at one time, attached to write it). With both a director and a screenwriter firmly set and the addition of casting buzz, this thing might finally get off the ground.
Robbie broke out with her full-bodied (and very funny) turn in last year’s The Wolf of Wall Street, and she’s since lined up an enviable schedule. We’ll next see her in Focus with Will Smith and Z For Zachariah with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine. Robbie is also in the midst of filming the Alexander Skarsgard-starring Tarzan, where, yes, she’ll totally be playing Jane. You Margot! You rising star!
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