Scarlett Johansson, who demonstrated that women make awesome, bankable action stars with last year’s Lucy, has signed up for DreamWorks‘ adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell, according to Variety. Rupert Sanders, best known for Snow White and the Huntsman, will direct a script by Bill Wheeler.
The 1995 animated film Ghost in the Shell is itself an adaptation of the manga of the same name. Directed by Mamoru Oshii, the film follows Motoko Kusanaigi and her security agency squad members on their search for a malicious hacker named the Puppet Master. That’s really just the introduction, as the film blooms into a masterpiece about technology, sex, and paranoia.
“DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of the original,” says the report on Variety, “and has long wanted to get this film off the ground.”
Hollywood has a pathetic history of making action films with female leads, but it’s also known to emulate recent successes. With Johansson’s financial and creative hits Lucy and Under the Skin receiving acclaim — not to mention her role in Marvel blockbusters like The Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier — her talent and celebrity could be what’s necessary to finally get the film made.
Here’s hoping a live-action film can capture the astonishing beauty of the original’s animation.