Beat Takeshi to Star in Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Takeshi ‘Beat’ Kitano has joined the cast of DreamWorks’ “Ghost in the Shell.”

The live action Hollywood film is an adaptation of the iconic Japanese anime film originally directed by Mamoru Oshii.

Kitano will play Daisuke Aramaki, chief of Public Security Section 9 — and boss of the cyborg cop heroine played by Scarlett Johansson.

Directed by Rupert Sanders, the live-action “Ghost in the Shell” has been slated by fans and commentators for its non-Japanese/non-Asian casting choices, so the inclusion of Kitano, well known abroad for his award-winning films and powerful performances, usually as a gangster or cop, may calm, if not still, such criticism.

Kitano is one of Japan’s top directors and one of the country’s best known actors and comedians. He usually performs under the name Beat Takeshi.

The “Ghost” role follow his recent lead performance in the Wayne Wang erotic drama “While the Women Are Sleeping,” which premiered at Berlin and is currently on release in Japan. It also Kitano’s first Hollywood film since playing a gangster in  the sci-fi thriller “Johnny Mnemonic” in 1995.

Paramount is set as the global distributor of “Ghost,” following a switch from Disney. Release is set for March 31, 2017.

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