Scarlett Johansson Offered Lead Role in ‘Ghost in the Shell’


A live-action adaptation of popular Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell has been in the works for years, finally gaining some traction when Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders boarded the project in January. Margot Robbie was most recently in the mix for the leading role of cyborg Motoko Kusanagi, but negotiations for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad have taken her out of the running.

Now Deadline says DreamWorks has offered Scarlett Johansson a whopping $10m for the role. That seems like quite a price tag, but after the box office success of Lucy and Johansson’s continued exposure as Black Widow, it makes sense that she could command a payday of that caliber. The deal isn’t done yet, but it seems likely that Johansson will sign on.

Ghost in the Shell 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.

Ghost in the Shell was adapted into a popular anime film back in 1995, but the script from William Wheeler is expected to hew a bit closer to the source material. The film will also be released in 3D, although a start date for production has not yet been announced.