Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have confirmed that production has begun on “Ghost In The Shell,” a new adaptation that will star Scarlett Johansson (“AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON,” “LUCY”). The film will be directed by Rupert Sanders (“SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN”) and filming is taking place in Wellington, New Zealand.
Paramount Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on March 31, 2017.
The film, which is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, is produced by Avi Arad (“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2,” “IRON MAN”), Ari Arad (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”), and Steven Paul (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”).
Michael Costigan (“PROMETHEUS”), Tetsu Fujimura (“TEKKEN”), Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese “GHOST IN THE SHELL” film and television series, and Jeffrey Silver (“EDGE OF TOMORROW,” “300”) will executive produce.
Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL,’” said producers Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael Costigan and Jeffrey Silver. “The city boasts state-of-the-art production facilities and a rich urban landscape that make it an ideal setting for a sci-fi action film. The crew-base in New Zealand working on the film is first class, and working with Sir Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop is inspirational on every level. The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world and we are thankful for their continued hospitality.”
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have entered into a marketing agreement with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Tourism New Zealand (TNZ), Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) which recognizes the significant economic, cultural and industry development benefits the production will bring to New Zealand. The collaboration will further promote New Zealand’s growing screen industry, develop local talent and showcase New Zealand to the rest of the world.
“The production will broaden the perceptions of the diversity of New Zealand’s locations by showcasing a science fiction urban setting in New Zealand,” says Dave Gibson NZFC Chief Executive.
Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said: “Tourism New Zealand is thrilled to be working with Paramount Pictures for the first time on ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL.’ Film tourism is an important element in Tourism New Zealand’s work to inspire people to visit New Zealand and we look forward to this new opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the rest of the world.”
The cast of “GHOST IN THE SHELL” includes Beat Takeshi Kitano (“MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE,” “BATTLE ROYALE” series) as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche (“THE ENGLISH PATIENT,” “CHOCOLAT”) as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt (“Hannibal,” “Boardwalk Empire”) as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk (“BEN-HUR,” “LUCY”) as Batou, and Kaori Momoi (“MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA,” “HONG KONG CONFIDENTIAL”).
The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han (“INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE”), Danusia Samal (“Tyrant”), Lasarus Ratuere (“Terra Nova”), Yutaka Izumihara (“UNBROKEN”) and Tuwanda Manyimo (“THE ROVER”).
The film’s crew includes Cinematographer Jess Hall (“THE SPECTACULAR NOW”), Editor Neil Smith (“SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN”), Production Designer Jan Roelfs (“FAST & FURIOUS 6”), and Costume Designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller (“THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PARTS 1& 2”).