One of the biggest stars in Hollywood could get even bigger off of one of the most popular anime series ever, as Scarlett Johansson is said to be up for the lead spot in a live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.
Johansson’s been more known for her guns and kicks and flips as of late, having taken on the role of Black Widow in Marvel’s Avengers franchise even before she gunned down box office competitors this year in Lucy. Now, rumor has it that the people behind the live-action version of Ghost in the Shell want Johannson for the lead spot, and they’re willing to pay big for it.
JoBlo carried word on Thursday that the makers of the live-action adaptation of the popular anime and manga are offering Johansson a $10 million payday to head up the film.
Initially appearing as a manga written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell follows a counter-cyberterrorist organization. Scarlett would play the role of a cyborg member of that organization, tasked with taking down the Puppet Master.
For Johansson, who has said that she’s tired of being “an object of desire,” it would be just the latest in a line of action turns, though taking on the role of Ghost in the Shell‘s Motoko Kusanagi – with a name change, of course – could boost the starlet’s image in Japan and Asia, where the anime was quite popular.
The film already has Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders attached, reportedly, and it will supposedly be based on a script by William Wheeler, who wrote The Prime Gig and The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Scarlett might not have been the filmmakers’ first choice, though. Word has it that Dreamworks initially wanted Margot Robbie to play the lead for the film. Robbie, though, is said to be high in the running for a turn in Suicide Squad, the antihero component of DC’s forthcoming Justice League push. With Robbie not an option, Dreamworks is said to be looking Johansson’s way.
As far as fallback options go, Johansson’s not too bad. Scarlett has already proven her action chops in multiple Marvel movies, and we’ll likely see more of her in the forthcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron.
There’s still quite a bit of speculation that she might get a solo turn in a Black Widow feature, though Marvel has yet to cough up any details on such a flick. If a Black Widow film is in the making, though, that could lessen the likelihood that Johansson would appear in Ghost in the Shell, as Marvel definitely has a stronger brand right now than the popular manga.
Still, the rumor just speaks to a fact that might not have been believable just a few years ago: Scarlett Johansson has become one of the bigger action stars in the world, more than capable of carrying her own kick-punch-shoot-run flick on her name alone.