DreamWorks has found a director to take on its live action adaptation of the Japanese manga-turned-anime property Ghost in the Shell, according to Deadline. Rupert Sanders, director of Snow White and the Huntsman has been tapped to take on the project, which will be produced by Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad.
Ghost in the Shell originally appeared in 1989 as a manga written by Masamune Shirow. Since then, the property has been adapted several times, including into video games, multiple anime series, and animated movies.
The original manga is set in the 21st century and follows a task force known as the Public Security Section 9. The group tackles everything from corrupt politicians to terrorism, but the original story focused primarily on an evolving artificial intelligence capable of hacking humans with cybernetic brains. From there the plot expanded, and rapidly.
The rights to the film were obtained by DreamWorks back in 2008, with Steven Spielberg attached in some form. Over the last few years the film has seen several writers come and go, but the project seems to be moving ahead with a script from William Wheeler (The Hoax, The Reluctant Fundamentalist).
Sanders is currently attached to the film The Juliet, which is scheduled for release in 2015, making Ghost in the Shell seem destined for a few years from now at least. Sanders was originally scheduled to direct a sequel to his first and so far only major film, Snow White and the Huntsman, but following the tabloid friendly affair between Sanders and the film’s star Kristen Stewart, the studio instead opted to focus on a spin-off starring just the huntsman.