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 Asbæk 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 Asbæk. It’s set to open March 31, 2017.