Variety has learned that Takeshi “Beat” Kitano will star alongside lead Scarlett Johansson in DreamWorks’ live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell.” Kitano will play the chief of Public Security Section 9, Daisuke Aramaki. Variety notes that Kitano is one of Japan’s most well-known directors, actors and comedians. The film will also star Pilou AsbÃ¦k as Batou, the second-best melee fighter in Section 9, and Michael Pitt in a villain role.
The casting of the prominent Japanese actor comes after complaints of whitewashing the Japanese source material as well as a petition to remove Johansson from the lead role.
Based on Masamune Shirow’s seminal cyberpunk manga and the subsequent anime franchise, “Ghost in the Shell” centers on Public Security Section 9, a counter-cyberterrorist organization in near-future Japan led by Major Motoko Kusanagi.
Directed by Rupert Sanders (“Snow White and the Huntsman”), the film stars Scarlett Johansson and Pilou AsbÃ¦k. It’s set to open March 31, 2017.