Michael Pitt Will Play the Villain Opposite Scarlett Johansson in the Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Remake

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Michael Pitt, not currently a laughing man. Photo: Danny Martindale/2014 Danny Martindale

A good sci-fi movie is nothing without a good villain (just ask Eddie Redmayne), and luckily, Dreamworks' long-gestating Ghost in the Shell remake has found an actor eerie enough for the part. Michael Pitt, of Boardwalk Empire and, briefly, Hannibal, will play the villain in film version of the 1989 Japanese manga, which later became a critically acclaimed 1995 anime film. Scarlett Johansson is set to star as a cyborg in a special-ops team that targets cyberterrorism, while Pitt will play the Laughing Man, an expert hacker and cyberterrorist, described as "a bad guy filtered through the lens of a street artist." Technically, the Ghost in the Shell world features an even bigger bad, the mysterious Puppeteer or Puppet Master, but let's just table that discussion for a separate, more contentious web forum. Snow White and the Huntsman's Rupert Sanders is directing the film, which is set for a March 31, 2017 release, just 12 years before the anime's 2029 setting. (Get to work on those cyborgs, people.)