On Thursday, Paramount Pictures released a first photo (above) from Ghost in the Shell, the upcoming live-action film based on the popular Japanese manga cult classic by writer-illustrator Masamune Shirow. The cult classic has inspired live action and animated adaptations for both film and television in Japan.
Scarlett Johansson is seen sporting a short dark hair in her star character as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a unique hybrid of human and cyborg. She leads an elite task force, Public Security Section 9, for Hanka Robotics, a counter-cyberterrorist organization. An enemy surfaces whose goal is to wipe out Hanka’s advancements in cyber technology.
Pilou Asbaek (A War) co-stars as Batou, with Michael Pitt (Criminal) as Kuze, Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche (Clouds of Sils Maria) as Dr. Ouelet, and Takeshi Kitano (A Living Promise) as Daisuke Aramaki. Kaori Momoi (Memoirs of a Geisha) is also in the cast. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo. Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) helms from a screenplay adapted by Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) and Jamie Moss (Street Kings).
Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul are producing. Michael Costigan, Tetsu Fujimura, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa — whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese film and television series — and Jeffrey Silver will executive produce. Currently shooting in New Zealand, the movie’s producers said, “The crew-base in New Zealand working on the film is first class, and working with Sir Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop is inspirational on every level. The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world and we are thankful for their continued hospitality.”
Ghost in the Shell is slated for theatrical release on April 14, 2017.