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Sam Riley is Ghost in the Shell's Laughing Man

11.20.2015by: Cody Hamman

GHOST IN THE SHELL seems somewhat inescapable. I have never watched the 1995 anime film (or much anime at all), but I have heard and seen it referred to on a regular basis over the last twenty years. Of course, the latest references tend to deal with the live action remake that DreamWorks and Paramount are currently collaborating on.

Rupert Sanders is attached to direct the film from a screenplay by Jonathan Herman. Scarlett Johansson will star as a

special ops cyborg who leads an elite task force called Section 9 for Hanka Robotics. Section 9 is devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, led by The Laughing Man, whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka’s advancements in cyber technology.

British actor Sam Riley is now in talks to take on the role of the villainous Laughing Man, who is described as being "the ultimate hacker, capable of such feats as hijacking multiple video streams simultaneously, taking over someone's cybernetic brain entirely, or even editing his own images out of someone’s cybernetic eyes, and all in real time." Sounds like an interesting character and a formidable opponent for a cyborg.

Danish actor Pilou Asbæk, who also had a role in last year's Johansson sci-fi action movie LUCY, recently signed on to play Batou, the best fighter in Section 9 and second in command.

GHOST IN THE SHELL is being produced by Avi Arad and Steven Paul. Michael Costigan, Jeffrey Silver, Tetsu Fujimura, and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa are executive producing.

This new take on the anime is set to reach theatres on March 31, 2017, which gives me plenty of time to finally watch the original version.

Extra Tidbit: Are you a fan of GHOST IN THE SHELL?
Source: DeadlineVariety

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