Japanese actor, comedian, and filmmaker Takeshi Kitano (a.k.a. Beat Takeshi) has been cast in Dreamworks and Paramount's live-action adaptation of the classic cyberpunk anime Ghost in the Shell. He will play Daisuke Aramaki, the head of Section 9.
The Japanese actor talked told Cinema Today that he was not a fan of either anime or manga, but felt the Aramaki "gave off a unique presence,".
"I decided to take the role because even though this stylish piece of entertainment is totally different from the films I've directed, I thought it was interesting that Aramaki, the role I play, is a character who gives off a peculiar vibe and, in various episodes, is set at the core of the characters' relationships. I'm looking forward to see how the movie turns out."
The last Hollywood film Takeshi worked on was the 1995 sci-fi (also Cyberpunk!) film starring Keanu Reeves, Johnny Mnemonic. I'm glad that they finally cast a Japanese actor for this film. Last year, fans petitioned for Johansson to be replaced by an Asian actress.
According to Variety, "The story follows the exploits of a female member of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission's covert ops unit (Scarlet Johansson), which specializes in fighting technology-related crime."
The live-action Ghost in the Shell movie is slated for a 2017 release.