Back in October, we reported that Scarlett Johansson was in talks for a live-action version of Ghost in the Shell, an adaptation of a popular Japanese manga that became a hugely successful anime flick. At the time, we heard the actress had been offered a staggering $10 million to star in the film, and now Variety is reporting that she has officially signed on, although the financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders will helm Ghost in the Shell, with Avi Arad and Steven Paul producing. The script from Bill Wheeler is expected to stick much closer to the source material than the anime version, with a story that takes place in a futuristic society where technology allows for cybernetic body modification, replacing damaged or non-functioning body parts with machinery. In some rare cases, a person can even possess a full-body prosthesis, as well as a “cyberbrain” that allows the person to interface with various networks. The flipside of this technology is that it remains susceptible to attacks from cyber criminals, the most talented of which can hack into a person’s brain and essentially take control of their body.
Interestingly enough, Margot Robbie had previously been attached to Ghost in the Shell, before opting out in favor of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad flick. With Johansson now attached, this could turn into another box office success for the veteran actress, whose starring role in Lucy helped the film gross a whopping $394 million worldwide. Not that she doesn’t have plenty of projects already on her plate, of course. Avengers: Age of Ultron will be opening in May, and she’s also attached to Hail, Caesar! for the Coen Brothers, as well as Jon Favreau’s live-action update of The Jungle Book.
No word yet on when Ghost in the Shell might begin production, and with Johansson’s crowded schedule, we might be waiting awhile.