The live adaptation of manga cult classic Ghost in the Shell is getting a writing overhaul from Straight Outta Compton screenwriter Jonathan Herman, who is taking over from the original writing team of Jamie Moss (Street Kings) and William Wheeler (The Reluctant Fundamentalist).
Herman, who did not have any previous screenplays credited to his name, was assigned at the last minute to straighten out the script for Compton under a tight deadline. He hit it out of the park. The N.W.A. biopic became a surprise hit at the theaters, and has racked up close to $200 million so far in the global box office.
Ghost in the Shell is based on writer-illustrator Masamune Shirow’s Japanese comic about a counter-cyberterrorist organization, Public Security Section 9, led by Major Motoko Kusanagi in mid-21st century Japan. Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) will helm the Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) headliner. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johansson will play “a special ops cyborg who leads an elite task force called Section 9 for Hanka Robotics. Section 9 is devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, led by The Laughing Man, whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka’s advancements in cyber technology.”
Ari Arad, Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing. Michael Costigan, Jeffrey Silver, Tetsu Fujimura and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa are executive producing.
Scheduled to start production in New Zealand in early 2016, the DreamWorks film is slated for release on March 31, 2017.
Meanwhile, Universal Studios is keeping Herman busy as their go-to writer. He came on board earlier this year to write a new draft of the Scarface remake, and is also working on The Demonologist and The Birds remake, all Universal projects.