Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have announced that production is underway on Ghost In The Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Rupert Sanders. The film is shooting in Wellington, New Zealand.

The film, which is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, is produced by Avi & Ari Arad and Steven Paul. Michael Costigan, Tekken’s Tetsu Fujimura, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese “Ghost In The Shell” film and television series, and Jeffrey Silver will executive produce.

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost In The Shell follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot ‘Ghost’,” said producers Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael Costigan and Jeffrey Silver. “The city boasts state-of-the-art production facilities and a rich urban landscape that make it an ideal setting for a sci-fi action film. The crew-base in New Zealand working on the film is first class, and working with Sir Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop is inspirational on every level. The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world and we are thankful for their continued hospitality.”

Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have entered into a marketing agreement with the New Zealand Film Commission, Tourism New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, which recognizes the significant economic, cultural and industry development benefits the production will bring to New Zealand. The collaboration will further promote New Zealand’s growing screen industry, develop local talent and showcase New Zealand to the rest of the world.

“The production will broaden the perceptions of the diversity of New Zealand’s locations by showcasing a science fiction urban setting in New Zealand,” says Dave Gibson NZFC Chief Executive.

“Tourism New Zealand is thrilled to be working with Paramount Pictures for the first time on ‘Ghost In The Shell.’” says Kevin Bowler, Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive. “Film tourism is an important element in Tourism New Zealand’s work to inspire people to visit New Zealand and we look forward to this new opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the rest of the world.”

The cast of Ghost In The Shell includes Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk as Batou, and Kaori Momoi. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo.

The film’s crew includes Cinematographer Jess Hall, Editor Neil Smith, Production Designer Jan Roelfs, and costume designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller.

Paramount Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on March 31, 2017.

@ParamountPics@DWAnimation

Follow Shamika Sanders on Twitter and be sure to tune in to The Miss Independent Show with yours truly coming soon Wednesday nights only on 100.1 The Heat!

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