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

“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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