Nearly a full year after Scarlett Johansson signed on to star in DreamWorks Pictures' live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, the supporting cast is starting to fill out. Variety reports that Pilou Asbæk, who co-starred with Scarlett Johansson in last year's action blockbuster Lucy, has signed on to co-star in the anime adaptation. The site reports that the actor will portray Batou, described as the best fighter in the section and second in command in the army.
Ghost in the Shell is based on the beloved Japanese anime, centering on a covert ops unit for Hanka Robotics entitled Section 9. The unit specializes in 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. The original series spawned a number of anime movies such as Ghost In The Shell (1996), Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004), Ghost in the Shell: Individual Eleven (2005), Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society (2006) and Ghost in the Shell 2.0.
Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) is directing from a script by Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton), based on the manga created by Masamune Shirow. Jamie Moss (Street Kings) and William Wheeler (The Tourist) previously worked on the script. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing, with Michael Costigan, Jeffrey Silver, Tetsu Fujimura and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa serving as executive producers.
We reported in April that production is set to begin in early 2016, with DreamWorks recently setting a March 31, 2017 release date for the live action adaptation. As of now, the project's only direct competition is Sony's Get Smurfy, with Universal's Untitled Mummy Reboot and Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Ascendant arriving a week earlier on March 24, 2017. It remains to be seen how many other main characters have yet to be cast.
Pilou Asbæk will next be seen on the big screen in MGM's big screen reboot Ben-Hur, which hits theaters on February 26, 2016. He also recently signed on for a role in Season 6 of Game of Thrones, which is rumored to be Euron Greyjoy. What do you think about this new casting addition for Ghost in the Shell? Stay tuned for more as Ghost in the Shell gets closer and closer to starting production.