Sam Riley to Play Villain in Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Sam Riley is in talks to co-star with Scarlett Johansson in DreamWorks’ “Ghost in the Shell,” sources tell Variety.

Rupert Sanders (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) is directing the adaptation of the popular anime film, with Paramount on board to co-finance.

Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing, while Michael Costigan, Jeffrey Silver, Tetsu Fujimura and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa are exec producing.

The story follows the exploits of a female member of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission’s covert ops unit, which specializes in fighting technology-related crime.

Riley is in talks to play Laughing man, who proves to be the ultimate hacker, capable of such feats as hijacking multiple video streams simultaneously, taking over someone’s cybernetic brain entirely and editing his own images out of someone’s cybernetic eyes, and all in real time.

“Borgen” alum Pilou Asbæk recently joined the cast as well. The film hits theaters on March 31, 2017.

Riley can be seen next as Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and just finished “Free Fire.”

He is stepped by WME and Tavistock Wood Management.

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