Anime fans, rejoice — Scarlett Johansson has officially signed on to star in the live-action movie adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. Fan art creators, your time is now.
A few months back, rumors swirled that the enviable lead for the beloved 1995 anime movie Ghost in the Shell would go to newcomer Margot Robbie. But now Robbie is out and big-time Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson is officially in. (Because casting an Asian woman in the role is apparently impossible for Hollywood executives to even fathom. Sigh.)
Johansson's name has been attached to the Ghost in the Shell project for some time, most likely because a lot of people would really love to see this actress beat up a lot of people in a cyberworld wearing lingerie. Allegedly, she was offered the starring role back in October, which also tied to the news of Margot Robbie stepping out of negotiations for the part to focus solely on her new role as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. Now according to Variety, Johansson is now officially tied to the Ghost in the Shell movie.
The anime film is based around cyborg character Motoko Kusanagi (now taking guesses in the comments as to how Hollywood will completely bungle that name change). Kusanagi is a member of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, a covert ops unit that fights cyber crime in the future. But it's really so much more than that, and the world itself is a gorgeous look at the melding of man and machine.
Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders is attached to direct, which is a positive for the visual aspect of this translation. Sanders has an eye for gorgeous imagery and visual splendor, but here's hoping he can do the heavy lifting plot-wise as well. That all being said, the DreamWorks project still hasn't been officially greenlit yet, but casting a name like Johansson to this picture will certainly help its chances of moving forward.