Casting light on the movie’s diverse cast, these leaked images were first unveiled by anime giant Crunchyroll and find Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, while Game of Thrones star Pilou Asbæk assumes the role of cybernetic ninja, Batou. What leads us to believe that these pics are the real deal is the fact that the hairstyles of Johansson, Asbæk and their co-stars match up with those glimpsed across previous set photos taken on the streets of Hong Kong. We await confirmation from Paramount nonetheless.
Based on Masamune Shirow’s beloved manga series, it’s no secret that Ghost in the Shell has received a lot of flak for its casting process. Addressing those white-washing claims, producer Steven Paul noted that Paramount’s feature is very much an “international story” despite its Japanese roots.
“I don’t think it was just a Japanese story. ‘Ghost In The Shell’ was a very international story, and it wasn’t just focused on Japanese; it was supposed to be an entire world,” he explained. “That’s why I say the international approach is, I think, the right approach to it.”
Also on board for the cyberpunk blockbuster are Michael Pitt, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Kaori Momoi, and Chin Han, not to mention Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara, Tuwanda Manyimo and Arrow starlet Rila Fukushima.
Rupert Sanders’ adaptation is part of a renewed drive by Hollywood studios to spin out marquee feature films from Japanese manga. Adam Wingard’s Death Note, for instance, is also trucking along in production.
Ghost in the Shell, meanwhile, is on course to land in theaters first, though, and those holding out hope for a Black Widow solo movie will be able to see Johansson in full-on kickass mode come March 31, 2017.