Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures officially released the first photo still for the upcoming live-action film adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. In addition ,the studios confirmed that principal production for the film is now underway in Wellington, New Zealand. Ghost in the Shell is due out in theaters in March 2017. The first image features star Scarlett Johansson as the Major (Major Motoko Kusanagi in the original manga and anime. It’s not been confirmed yet if Johansson’s character in the film will also be named Motoko Kusanagi. You can check out the image of Scarlett as the Major below.
The film is based on the Kodansha Comics series of the same name created by Masamune Shirow. Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders is helming the movie. The film is produced by Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Steven Paul. Michael Costigan, Tetsu Fujimura, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, and Jeffrey Silver are executive producing the project.
The story follows the Major, a special ops, human-cyborg hybrid who leads the elite task force Section 9. The group is devoted to stopping dangerous cyber-criminals and extremist terrorists. In the film, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
Speaking on the announcement, the producers said in a joint statement: “We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL.’ 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.”
Rounding out the rest of the cast: Beat Takeshi Kitano is playing Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche is playing Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt is Kuze, Pilou Asbæk is Batou, and Kaori Momoi in an unnamed role. Other Section 9 members will be played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara, and Tuwanda Manyimo. The film hits theaters on March 31. 2017.