First look at Scarlett Johannson in GHOST IN THE SHELL

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While Marvel continues to play deaf and dumb to the calls for a Black Widow solo film, Scarlett Johansson luckily now has a different comic book movie to her name as the popular actress was cast to bring iconic manga and anime character Major Motoko Kusunagi to life in the Ghost in the Shell feature film adaptation.

Now there is of course the little matter that this is based on an acclaimed Japanese cyberpunk tale and Scarlett Johannson is about as Japanese as I am a French poodle. But thanks to the first pic from the upcoming production, we can see that she actually looks pretty good in the part.

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We’ve already seen what kind of a comic book badass Johansson can be, so now we just need to see how they pull off Motoko’s cyborg body and her cybernetic enhancements. That will probably be done mostly in post-production, so it will more than likely be some time before we get a look at it.

This pic was released by Dreamworks Pictures as part of the announcement that the film has now officially started filming in New Zealand. Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders is behind the camera for this long-in-development adaptation, while Johansson is joined in front of the camera by a hell of a support cast including Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, and Pilou Asbæk as Batou.

It’s believed that Ghost In the Shell won’t be exclusively based on either Masamune Shirow’s original manga comics or Mamoru Oshii’s iconic 1995 animated feature film adaptation – both of which have inspired numerous big time Hollywood filmmakers – but could be pulling a story from the GITS: Stand-Alone Complex TV series.

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Here’s the full press release for the announcement:

The film, which is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, is produced by Avi Arad (“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2,” “IRON MAN”), Ari Arad (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”), and Steven Paul (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”). Michael Costigan (“PROMETHEUS”), Tetsu Fujimura (“TEKKEN”), Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese “GHOST IN THE SHELL” film and television series, and Jeffrey Silver (“EDGE OF TOMORROW,” “300”) will executive produce.

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL,’” said producers Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael Costigan and Jeffrey Silver. “The city boasts state-of-the-art production facilities and a rich urban landscape that make it an ideal setting for a sci-fi action film. The crew-base in New Zealand working on the film is first class, and working with Sir Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop is inspirational on every level. The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world and we are thankful for their continued hospitality.”

Ghost In the Shell is scheduled for release in the U.S. on March 31, 2017.

Last Updated: April 15, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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