Michael Pitt to Play Villain in Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Michael Pitt
Nils Jorgensen/REX Shutterstock

“Boardwalk Empire” actor Michael Pitt is in talks to play the villain opposite Scarlett Johansson in DreamWorks’ “Ghost in the Shell.”

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 (Johansson), which specializes in fighting technology-related crime.

Pitt 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 with Paramount handling worldwide distribution.

Pitt just signed on to star with Imogen Poots in the indie art thriller “The Sleeping Shepherd” and is part of the ensemble cast of “Criminal,” which also stars Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot and Gary Oldman.

He is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Schreck Rose. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news.

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  1. j says:

    So much is riding on this films for future anime adaptations.. Allot of evidence to show that if this film did well we would finally see the likes of Cowboy Bebop and Akira bought to the big screen.
    But if they are going to start shitting on the idea already in hollywood with horrendous directors with no real experience, just so the production company will have ultimate creative control and tell the inexperienced garbage producer, how his film will ultimately turn out.
    I suspect this is literally no chance of this film being decent enough to propel future anime adaptations into respectable positions in studios and getting good directors.
    The HBO Monster adaptation is what ill still hold out for, as an incredible anime adaptation done right.

    • j says:

      And its going to be PG-13 and totally whitewashed… They are going to have to change Motokos name just because scarlet was cast… They couldn’t even find an asian american for the role?? Don’t have to go full japanese.. but COME ON

  2. msmariah1 says:

    I find it fascinating that none of the medial outlets seems to mention that Scarlett Johansson is playing a character named Motoko Kusanagi. Seriously?

  3. Paully says:

    OK in theory .. Except.. Except where are the Japanese people.. Just saying..

  4. Ebo says:

    Jesus why Rupert Sanders, this film deserves and needs a real director.

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