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

Sam Riley
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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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  1. Dave J. says:

    I agree, that it’s not going to be very good, since besides the record speaks for itself! Often the Ghost in the Shell shows can sometimes get violent with the little action they had but were often adult oriented because of their complex subject matter!

  2. It’s going to be awful; every live action adaptation Hollywood has attempted has been dire. It’ll eiter be a shallow action flick that will be utterly devoid of any intelligence, for fear of alienating the audience. Or it will be an action flick so chock full of scientific jargon that it’ll end up as bloated and pretentious as a hipster whose eaten one too many gluten-free biscotti.

    Either way, the source material will most likely completely disregarded for more audience-friendly fare.

    But honestly, I hope it bombs. Maybe then Hollywood will learn to stop trying to fix what isn’t broken.

    • Pete says:

      Aww hell. I hate to admit that you’re probably right. It’s lose-lose. Hollywood seems to enjoy ruining unique and complex gems the likes of GitS.

  3. John says:

    “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.”

    Ah, so does the film still stay in Japan? Or is this line using the description of Section 9 in the original work? There’s been confusion about the setting, and whether Section 9 is a GOVERNMENT agency or somehow a CORPORATE agency directly under Hnaka Robotics.

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