Scarlett Johansson has officially suited up for Public Security Section 9. The upcoming adaptation of Ghost in the Shell has finally entered production in Wellington, New Zealand, Paramount and DreamWorks announced today (April 14).
Written and animated by Masamune Shirow in 1990, Ghost in the Shell is a Japanese manga-turned-anime that follows Public Security Section 9, a counter-cyberterrorist unit led by the super-badass cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi. In Shirow's futuristic Japan, humans have replaced some or all of their body parts with robotics and are connected to global networks, which leads to an increase in cyber crime.
Johansson is taking on the role of the Major, the special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid -- and anyone who has seen her kick butt in Lucy knows she's a perfect fit to play a highly intellectual and physically powerful hacker with awesome hair. The studios also released the first official image from the film, which shows Johansson sporting Kusanagi's signature angular black bob.
Directed by Snow White and the Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders, Ghost in the Shell is set for release on March 31, 2017. However, there's no word on whether Yoko Kanno will reprise her role to compose the haunting music for the film. According to a press release, the film follows Section 9 as it is "faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic's advancements in cyber technology."
Though Johansson's casting is controversial -- given that the anime's lead is a Japanese woman -- Ghost in the Shell does have a lot of support from longtime fan, and Dreamworks principal partner, Steven Spielberg, who has been a huge proponent of bringing the popular manga to the big screen.
The cast also includes Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, and Kaori Momoi. The other members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara, Tuwanda Manyimo, and Pilou Asbæk as the major's second-in-command, Batou.