There’s an old saying in Hollywood that you’re only as good as your last hit; in the case of writer Jonathan Herman, his last hit was a huge and massive one, and that means more work on the horizon. After doing a complete overhaul on Universal and Legendary Pictures’ Straight Outta Compton, which became a surprise hit this summer, Herman has now been asked to do the same for the anime-to-live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, is set to begin filming in the first part of 2016 with a release scheduled for March 31, 2017. That means Herman’s got his work cut out for him.
The DreamWorks project has been talked about for many a year, with lots of people saying it couldn’t or shouldn’t be adapted. But with a huge star like Johansson involved, and Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders on board, and even a release date in place, it seemed like a sure thing. However, the need to bring in a page-one re-writer like Herman might be a clue that perhaps it wasn’t quite ready to go. Previous drafts had been written by William Wheeler and Jamie Moss.
Ghost in the Shell, the 1995 film by Mamoru Oshii from the manga by Masamune Shirow, is one of the seminal works in the cyberpunk movement and, along with Akira, represent two of the earliest anime to cross over and find success outside of Asia. Akira is also in the process of being adapted for live-action, by none other than Christopher Nolan. But that project is far from beginning, and maybe if Ghost turns out well, Herman will be hired to work on that one too.
What do you think about the development regarding Ghost in the Shell? Will the Straight Outta Compton writer be able to tackle anime adaptations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
HT: The Hollywood Reporter
Image: Manga Entertainment/Starz
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. He also loves anime, so talk to him about it on Twitter!