Ghost in the Shell Live-Action Movie Casts Villain Role

Adaptation of the anime classic to begin production this month.


A Hollywood adaptation of the classic anime film Ghost in the Shell has been in the works for many years, but the project is finally about to go into production. It has been reported that the film will start shooting this month, and now a key role has been cast.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Pitt will play the film's main villain, appearing alongside star Scarlett Johansson. Pitt is best known for his regular role HBO's period gangster drama Boardwalk Empire, as well as Hannibal and the film Seven Psychopaths.

THR reports that Pitt is to play the Laughing Man, who is actually the villain from the spinoff series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, rather than the original 1995 movie. The film is to be directed by Snow White and the Huntsman's Rupert Sanders, and as Collider reported last week, it will start shooting in New Zealand, Hong Kong, and China this month. It is set for a March 31, 2017 release.

Ghost in the Shell was one of the key anime films to break through to a western audience during the 1990s. It was created by Masamune Shirow, and originally published as a manga series in 1989. It is set in the Tokyo of the future, and focuses upon a counter-cyberterrorist organization known as Public Security Section 9.

The popularity of the manga led to four anime movies, the latest of which, Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie, was released last year. There have also been a number of video games.

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