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The Schmooze

Scarlett Johansson To Star in Adaptation of Japanese Anime

(Reuters) — Following the success of “Lucy,” Scarlett Johansson looks ready to take on another action pic, this one coming from the world of Japanese anime.

Johansson is set to star in DreamWorks’ adaptation of the popular anime pic “Ghost in the Shell.” Deadline Hollywood had reported that the actress had the offer to star but at the time she was still undecided about taking the role. Sources now say she has agreed to star in the pic.

The story follows the exploits of a member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission that specializes in fighting technology-related crime.

Rupert Sanders is on board to direct. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing the film from a script by Bill Wheeler. Mark Sourian is exec producing.

Insiders also tell Variety that Paramount has the option to come on as co-producer and financier and that decision is expected in the coming weeks.

DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of the original and has long wanted to get this film off the ground. A commitment from a star like Johansson should help in getting the pic greenlit for production.

Besides Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence, Johansson is becoming one of the few actresses in town with the clout to get a project greenlit on her name alone.

“Lucy” made $394 million worldwide and Johansson can be seen next in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” bowing in May. Johansson has also done a nice job of balancing action-heavy tentpoles with serious dramas and comedies.

She received rave reviews for Spike Jonze’s “Her” and is a part of the ensemble of the Coen brothers’ next pic “Hail, Caesar!” She is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.

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