Last month, we reported that Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) was in talks to star in Rupert Sanders‘ (Snow White and the Huntsman) live-action adaptation of the classic manga/anime, Ghost in the Shell. The story focuses on 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.” According to Deadline, DreamWorks has decided to now offer the lead role to Scarlett Johansson with a bigger payday, which has now pushed Robbie towards Suicide Squad.
Hit the jump for more.
Deadline reports that Johansson is being offered $10 million to star in Ghost in the Shell, which obviously has franchise potential if it’s a hit. Additionally, switching from Robbie to Johansson is the safer bet. Robbie is a star on the rise, and while she’s got two big movies coming up with Focus and Tarzan, Ghost in the Shell would be a franchise to call her own. That’s a lot to put on her shoulders, especially if Focus and Tarzan flop at the box office.
Johansson, on the other hand, has already shown she can carry an original title with Lucy opening to $43 million and eventually hitting $412 million worldwide. That’s damned respectable for a movie not based on an existing property, and Ghost in the Shell already has a built-in audience. Since a Black Widow movie is nowhere in sight, it’s possible Johansson would be willing to play another covert op agent, one who’s divorced from the Marvel madness.
Here’s the trailer for the anime adaptation of the manga (NSFW):