Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have released the first image from the Hollywood live-action remake of anime classic Ghost In The Shell to mark the start of production. It shows Scarlett Johansson as Major Kusanagi, the cyborg whose existential questions form the heart of the plot.
Ghost In The Shell is being directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White And the Huntsman) with filming based in Wellington, New Zealand. It is currently scheduled for a March 2017 release.
The new film, like the anime, is based on the manga series of the same name by Masamune Shirow. It’s the story of Major Kusanagi, a special ops, cyborg who leads the elite task force called Section 9 which is devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremist. While chasing a cyber terrorist, Kusanagi is forced to question her own existence.
The cast of Ghost In The Shell includes Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk as Batou and Kaori Momoi. Members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo.
“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot Ghost In The Shell,” says producers Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael Costigan and Jeffrey Silver (what – in unison? That’s creepy). “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.”
“The production will broaden the perceptions of the diversity of New Zealand’s locations by showcasing a science fiction urban setting in New Zealand,” says Dave Gibson, New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Chief Executive.