DreamWorks has been developing a live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation for several years. Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) signed on to direct in January. The Wrap reports Margot Robbie is now in early talks to star. The report does not specify the role, but the lead protagonist in the original manga by Masamune Shirow is Major Motoko Kusanagi, the leader of a covert ops unit that fights cyber-terrorists. Motoko has a fully synthetic cyborg body but retains her human essence/soul or “ghost.” After a couple notable supporting roles in About Time and The Wolf on Wall Street, studio executives clearly believe Robbie can carry a big production. In addition to the Ghost in the Shell possibility, Robbie stars opposite Will Smith in Focus (February 27, 2015) and is currently shooting Tarzan (July 1, 2016).
William Wheeler (The Cape) scripted the adaptation. Avi Arad (The Amazing Spider-Man), Steven Paul (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), and Mark Sourian (Need for Speed) are producing. More after the jump.
Deep into the twenty-first century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on the enhancement of mechanical implants and robots are upgraded with human tissue. In this rapidly converging landscape, cyborg superagent Major Motoko Kusanagi is charged to track down the craftiest and most dangerous terrorists and cybercriminals, including “ghost hackers” who are capable of exploiting the human/machine interface and reprogramming humans to become puppets to carry out the hackers’ criminal ends. When Major Kusanagi tracks the cybertrail of one such master hacker, the Puppeteer, her quest leads her into a world beyond information and technology where the very nature of consciousness and the human soul are turned upside down. [Amazon]
Check out Dave’s Ghost in the Shell feature for more background on the manga and the adaptation potential.