Pilou Asbæk to co-star as Batou in live action Ghost in the Shell movie

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VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03:  Danish actor Johan Philip Asbaek  from the film "A Hijacking" poses during the 69th Venice Film Festival at the Lancia Space on September 3, 2012 in Venice, Italy.  (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

It has been confirmed by Variety that Danish actor Pilou Asbæk will co-star as Batou, alongside Scarlett Johansson in Dreamworks’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.

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Asbæk has previously starred alongside Johansson in Lucy and will join the cast of Game of Thrones in the upcoming sixth season. His casting as former special-forces operative Batou also marks the first confirmed character for the Ghost in the Shell project. It is assumed that Johansson will play series heroine Motoko Kusanagi, but her actual character name has not been confirmed, prompting criticism from fans amid speculation that Kusanagi’s ethnicity may be changed to Johansson’s casting.

Variety also offers a brief synopsis of the film’s plot:

Ghost in the Shell follows a female special ops cyborg who leads an elite task force called Section 9 for Hanka Robotics. Section 9 is devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, led by The Laughing Man whose singular goal is towipe out Hanka’s advancements in cyber technology. ”

While it does not offer much insight into the story, the mention of the Laughing Man character as its antagonist suggests that the film may be looking to the 2002 Stand Alone Complex TV series for its inspiration, rather than the original manga or the previous Mamoru Oshii feature films.

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