GHOST IN THE SHELL Casts Kitano Takeshi To Star

Say what you will of the live-action version of Ghost In The Shell. It's happening, and with Snow White And The Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders in the director's chair while the film itself continues to be a center of curiosity for fans of the franchise everywhere regarding its casting.

Let's call it for what it is, really, with the proverbial elephant in the room being the lack of diversity in Hollywood and the casting for this particular property has been exemplary of this: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek and Michael Pitt - all fine actors in their own right while the line-up is principally caucasian, making Dreamworks's newest venture into this territory something of a controversial nature for those critical in the discourse as of late.

The dialogue has been robust on this issue for many a film for sometime now and there's no sign of it dissipating, but this week fans have a reason to cheer some with word via CinemaToday that film multi-hyphenate Kitano Takeshi is joining the film. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing from a script re-work by Jonathan Herman based Shirow Masumane's original manga and subsequent anime by Oshii Mamoru which covers the exploits of Public Security Section 9, an elite counter-cyberterrorism squad.

Johansson is reportedly playing lead character Motoko Kusanagi, with Kitano starring as Section 9 founder and chief Daisuke Aramaki, Asbaek in the role of Section 9 second-in-command, Batou, and Pitt in the villainous role of The Laughing Man.

Johansson herself still has a stake in a few other properties including her current status with Marvel including this May's Captain America: Civil War, and a Lucy sequel as of last summer. Dreamworks and Paramount are co-financing Ghost In The Shell for the latter's release on March 31, 2017.


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