INDIEWIRE – You want to make an anime superfan upset? Tell them the live-action remake stars Scarlett Johansson, is coming from Disney, and will be directed by Snow White And The Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders. Now you can bug them for a couple more years about it.
The studio has slated the already semi-controversial Ghost in the Shell do-over for an April 14, 2017 release date. It parks the movie right between Pacific Rim 2 and Universal’s mystery monster movie project. Summer no longer stands alone as blockbuster season, in case you had any doubt.
Meanwhile, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book has been pushed back six months, to April 15, 2016, where it’ll square off against Goosebumps and The Best Man Wedding. Taking its place this year is the true story story drama, “The Finest Hours,” with Casey Affleck and Chris Pine. Now arriving on October 9th, does Disney smell Oscar for this one?
Lastly, David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon will breathe fire on August 12, 2016, where it will face stiff competition from raunchy comedy Bad Grandpa, raunchy animated movie Sausage Party, and Universal’s Spectral.
VARIETY – Following the success of Lucy, Scarlett Johansson looks ready to take on another action pic, this one coming from the world of Japanese anime.
Johansson is set to star in DreamWorks’ adaptation of the popular anime pic Ghost in the Shell. Deadline Hollywood had reported that the actress had the offer to star but at the time she was still undecided about taking the role. Sources now say she has agreed to star in the pic.
The story follows the exploits of a member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission that specializes in fighting technology-related crime.
Rupert Sanders is on board to direct. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing the film from a script by Bill Wheeler. Mark Sourian is exec producing.
Insiders also tell Variety that Paramount has the option to come on as co-producer and financier and that decision is expected in the coming weeks.
DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of the original and has long wanted to get this film off the ground. A commitment from a star like Johansson should help in getting the pic greenlit for production.
Besides Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence, Johansson is becoming one of the few actresses in town with the clout to get a project greenlit on her name alone.
Lucy made $394 million worldwide and Johansson can be seen next in Avengers: Age of Ultron, bowing in May. Johansson has also done a nice job of balancing action-heavy tentpoles with serious dramas and comedies.
She received rave reviews for Spike Jonze’s Her and is a part of the ensemble of the Coen brothers’ next pic Hail, Caesar! She is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.