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Scarlett Johansson, who was approached by Dreamworks in October, was offered the lead in their adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, yet turned it down. While negotiations ended there, according to Variety, the starlet has revised her decision to star in the film. Based on the Seinen Manga written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, Dreamworks’ adaptation will not take into account any of the various reworkings Ghost in the Shell has seen since its debut in 1989. Set in a future where humans have the ability to replace body parts with cybernetic ones, Ghost in the Shell follows a group of police investigators as they track down the ruthless criminal, “Puppet Master,” who implants false memories in his victim’s minds. Ghost in the Shell has undergone several transformations, most notably a 1995 animated film of the same name, but Dreamworks’ version will be both English-speaking and live-action.
Steadily increasing her presence over her lengthy career, Johansson has become internationally famous for her role as “Black Widow” in the Marvel Universe. Making over $125 million domestically, her 2014 sci-fi hit, Lucy, proved that female-led action is absolutely financially viable. While Marvel has failed to signal any moves toward a Black Widow movie (or any female-centric films), Johansson’s immense screen presence and aptitude have garnered her big roles in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While not exactly a substitute for a Black Widow film, Ghost in the Shell seems like it is shaping up to be one bad ass movie. As long as it stays true to its manga origins, Ghost in the Shell should prove to be a great introduction to a larger American audience of a Japanese cultural mainstay.