In a smart move by director Rupert Sanders (‘Snow White and the Huntsman‘), he has let go of the idea of casting Margot Robbie (‘The Wolf of Wall Street’) in his upcoming adaptation of the classic Japanese Manga ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ and offered the role to Scarlett Johansson. Why is it a smart move? Margot Robbie is up and coming currently, and does have some big movies on the horizon (‘Tarzan’ and ‘Focus’), but asking her to carry a big property like this, with a huge built in audience and franchise potential might be too much at this point. Whereas Johansson, with her Black Widow experience, and her ability to shoulder a standalone action film on her own (such as this year’s ‘Lucy‘ which did extremely well internationally), is more than capable of bringing this series to the screen and carrying it to become a huge franchise.
The story of “Ghost in the Shell’ is set in 2029, where many people in the public have cybernetic parts that gives them the ability to access computer networks in their heads. The downside is that these parts leave them vulnerable to being hacked, which might lead to lost memories or having their senses completely taken over by outside forces. To counter this threat, there is a special operations team named Public Security Section 9, which is led by Major Motoko Kusanagi, the star of the series. Motoko is a cyborg herself, but not completely. Though her body is artificial, she retains her human soul/ essence (hence the title, ‘Ghost in the Shell’).
‘Ghost in the Shell’ has been adapted before, with the anime films ‘Ghost in the Shell’ (1995) and ‘Innocence’ (1994), as well as numerous video games, and a television series. Which only goes to show, the film already has an audience, and if done correctly, has potential to be a major hit. Hence why it is no surprise that it was reported that Johansson was offered 10 million for the part, though no definite confirmation has been made on whether or not she plans to accept the role.