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First Image Of Scarlett Johansson In GHOST IN THE SHELL. Production Has Begun

PARAMOUNT PICTURES AND DREAMWORKS PICTURES’ “GHOST IN THE SHELL” IS IN PRODUCTION IN NEW ZEALAND and we have the first image of Scarlett Johansson as Major in Ghost in the Shell.

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have announced that production is underway on “GHOST IN THE SHELL,” starring Scarlett Johansson (“AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON,” “LUCY”) and directed by Rupert Sanders (“SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN”). The film is shooting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Paramount Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on March 31, 2017.

The film, which is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, is produced by Avi Arad (“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2,” “IRON MAN”), Ari Arad (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”), and Steven Paul (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”). Michael Costigan (“PROMETHEUS”), Tetsu Fujimura (“TEKKEN”), Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese "GHOST IN THE SHELL” film and television series, and Jeffrey Silver (“EDGE OF TOMORROW,” “300”) will executive produce.

“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL,’” said producers Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael Costigan and Jeffrey Silver. “The city boasts state-of-the-art production facilities and a rich urban landscape that make it an ideal setting for a sci-fi action film. The crew-base in New Zealand working on the film is first class, and working with Sir Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop is inspirational on every level. The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world and we are thankful for their continued hospitality.”

Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have entered into a marketing agreement with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Tourism New Zealand (TNZ), Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) which recognizes the significant economic, cultural and industry development benefits the production will bring to New Zealand. The collaboration will further promote New Zealand’s growing screen industry, develop local talent and showcase New Zealand to the rest of the world.

“The production will broaden the perceptions of the diversity of New Zealand’s locations by showcasing a science fiction urban setting in New Zealand,” says Dave Gibson NZFC Chief Executive.

Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said: “Tourism New Zealand is thrilled to be working with Paramount Pictures for the first time on ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL.’ Film tourism is an important element in Tourism New Zealand’s work to inspire people to visit New Zealand and we look forward to this new opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the rest of the world.”

The cast of “GHOST IN THE SHELL” includes Beat Takeshi Kitano (“MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE,” “BATTLE ROYALE” series) as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche (“THE ENGLISH PATIENT,” “CHOCOLAT”) as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt (“Hannibal,” “Boardwalk Empire”) as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk (“BEN-HUR,” “LUCY”) as Batou, and Kaori Momoi (“MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA,” “HONG KONG CONFIDENTIAL”). The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han (“INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE”), Danusia Samal (“Tyrant”), Lasarus Ratuere (“Terra Nova”), Yutaka Izumihara (“UNBROKEN”) and Tuwanda Manyimo (“THE ROVER”).

The film’s crew includes Cinematographer Jess Hall (“THE SPECTACULAR NOW”), Editor Neil Smith (“SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN”), Production Designer Jan Roelfs (“FAST & FURIOUS 6”), and Costume Designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller (“THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PARTS 1& 2”).

# # #

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

About DreamWorks Pictures

DreamWorks Pictures is a production label of Amblin Partners, a content creation company formed by the former DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One (eOne). The company develops and produces films using the Amblin, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant banners and includes Amblin Television, a longtime leader in quality programming. The company’s first film, “Bridge of Spies,” was released to critical acclaim in October 2015. Other projects in various stages of production include: “The Light Between Oceans,” scheduled for release by Disney in 2016; “The Girl on the Train,” scheduled for release in October 2016; “A Dog’s Purpose,” scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2017; “Ready Player One,” scheduled for release in December of 2017; and “Ghost in the Shell,” starring Scarlett Johansson that is currently in production and scheduled for release in 2017. Upcoming shows from Amblin TV include “All the Way,” an HBO movie directed by Jay Roach and starring Bryan Cranston; and “American Gothic,” a summer series that will air on CBS and begin production in February 2016.

DreamWorks Pictures can be found at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DreamWorksPictures
Twitter: DW_Pictures

About the New Zealand Film Commission

The New Zealand Film Commission invests in original and culturally significant films, encourages talented New Zealand filmmakers through developing career pathways and facilitating connections offshore, and works to increase the number of people seeing New Zealand films here and overseas. It is responsible for marketing New Zealand’s screen production industry overseas and attracting international screen productions to New Zealand. The NZFC supports the growth of economic activity and helps ensure New Zealand has sustainable screen sector businesses operating within an internationally competitive screen sector. The NZFC also helps negotiate co-production treaties and is responsible for administering the New Zealand Screen Production Grant, the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant and the 5% Uplift, and for certifying official co-productions and New Zealand films for tax purposes.

About Tourism New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand markets New Zealand to the world as a visitor destination. In the year ending February 2016, 3.2 million international visitors came to New Zealand. International tourism is one of New Zealand’s largest earners of foreign exchange, adding around NZ$11.8 billion annually to the nation’s economy. www.tourismnewzealand.com

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