Dreamworks apparently wants to bet big on its adaptation of Japanese manga-turned-anime property Ghost in the Shell, as Deadline is reporting that the studio has offered the lead role to actress Scarlett Johansson for a pretty massive sum of $10 million. While it had previously looked like the lead of the potential new franchise would go to actress Margot Robbie, she now looks much more likely for WB’s upcoming DC Comics-based film Suicide Squad, with Fury‘s David Ayer attached to direct.
It’s not currently known if the offer to Johansson is for just one film, or if contractual obligations to star in sequels are also on the table. With the amount of money that Dreamworks seems to be putting into the first entry, it definitely seems as if they’re setting this up for multiple outings, but no solid confirmation yet exists on that matter.
Ghost in the Shell originates from Japan, and began as a “seinen manga” series (which basically means that its primarily targeted at adult men) created by Masamune Shirow. It’s popularity led to animated adaptations beginning in 1995, with the anime film The Ghost in the Shell eventually leading to a TV series and another subsequent animated film series that have been releasing through this year. It primarily tells the story of a counter-cyberterrorist agency in mid-21st century Japan, and one of its primary squad leaders: Motoko Kusanagi, a cybernetically-augmented human being with superhuman strength, a genius-level intellect, and a top-of-the-line hacker. This is likely the character that Johansson will play if she takes the deal. Whether or not the script for the new film “anglo-normalizes” the characters and situations, as studios can tend to do with foreign properties, may show her character ending up with a different name.
Ghost in the Shell will be directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Hoax). No release plans have been announced yet, but be sure to follow GeekNation for any new developments that might emerge about this project (in addition to all of the other cool stuff we have going on).
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