Barely a week has passed since DreamWorks welcomed Game of Thrones newcomer Pilou Asbæk to the burgeoning cast of Ghost in the Shell, and Deadline is reporting that the studio has now turned its attention to Sam Riley for the film’s chief antagonist.
At this stage, the Maleficent star has merely opened negotiations to assume the role of The Laughing Man, a nefarious leader of an extremist group that wreaks terror through the streets of Niihama, the fictional city where the popular manga is based. Creating a special forces unit to tackle the threat head on, Hanka Robotics founds Public Security Section 9, an elite group of enhanced soldiers led by Scarlett Johansson’s badass cyborg, Motoko Kusanag.
Behind the lens for DreamWork’s live-action feature is Rupert Sanders (Snow White And The Huntsman), and he’ll be bringing the beloved anime to the silver screen via a script produced by Straight Outta Compton scribe Jonathan Herman. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are on board to produce, while Michael Costigan, Jeffrey Silver, Tetsu Fujimura and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa will assume executive producing duties.
The jury’s still out on whether Sam Riley will ink a deal to join DreamWorks’ motion picture, and we’ll reserve judgement until the studio releases the official word that the British actor is headed to Niihama.
DreamWorks’ live-action rendition of Ghost in the Shell is currently targeting a March 31, 2017 release.