Ghost in the Shell live-action film is finally in production
Will Scarlett Johansson’s Motoko Kusanagi live up to the original, highly coveted, cult classic anime Ghost in the Shell?

Ghost in the Shell is a franchise well known to any half-respected fan of anime and science fiction genre. This highly coveted cult classic consists of three original standalone anime films: Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society) that form the ‘canon’ of the Ghost in the Shell universe, and the franchise was recently revitalised with the latest addition that is the anime television series Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture.

The films, and the series, are taking place in technologically advanced Japan of the near future, and revolve around the main protagonist of the franchise Major Motoko Kusanagi, cybernetically augmented squad leader of Public Security Section 9 – a fictional law-enforcement division of the Japanese government, as she goes about fighting cyber-crime, making use of her expert hacking abilities and supported by highly skilled team members of her unit: Batou, Borma, Ishikawa, Paz, Saito and Togusa.

Ghost in the Shell achieved almost legendary status amongst the fans of the franchise and has been the inspiration for many a subsequent work of science fiction, anime or otherwise.

For many years now, rumours were abound that a live-action feature film based on the original anime films is in the works, but, to date, nothing came into fruition. Now finally, SCIFI4EVER can confirm that the feature film inspired by this anime classic is in the making.

The long journey started well back in 2008, when DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg acquired the rights to produce a live-action film adaptation of the original. Several screenwriters were chosen, and subsequently dropped, to write the screenplay, until eventually it has been made known that Jonathan Herman was selected as a script writer and Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) is set to direct the film. Early in September 2014, Margot Robbie (who recently starred in Z for Zachariah low-budged science fiction film) was in early talks to play Motoko, but by mid-October, the lead role was instead offered to Scarlett Johansson. More recently, it has also been announced that Japanese Star and television personality Takeshi Kitano will portray Motoko’s boss and Chief Executive Director of Public Security Daisuke Aramaki and that Pilou Asbaek was cast as Batou, Motoko’s lead team member and soul mate. Additionally, Michael Pitt (recently starring in the low-budget sci-fi film I Origins) secured the role of the film’s main villain, the sinister Laughing Man.

Ghost in the Shell live-action film is scheduled to start production in early 2016, with Paramount Pictures co-financing and co-producing it, and if everything goes well, the feature should be released in March 2017.