The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Michael Pitt will be playing the Laughing man in the upcoming live-action Ghost in the Shell movie.

It was previously reported that Sam Riley had been cast as the villain, but it seems that he will be taking a different sort of role. Pitt has been confirmed to be taking the role of the Laughing Man, a cybercriminal who often crosses paths with the protagonists in the anime series.

Here he is described as a “bitter and vengeful man with a body that is part robot,” with a “unique sense of style . . . a bad guy filtered through the lens of a street artist.”

Previously Pitt was considered to play the role of Tetsuo in Warner Bro.’s live action Akira project but it didn’t fly.

Pitt will be joining Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Lucy, Lost in Translation) Sam Riley (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and Pilou Asbæk (Lucy).


The film is currently being developed by Dreamworks and Paramount, and this is the movie as described:

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 to wipe out Hanka’s advancements in cyber technology.

Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) will be directing the film, while Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) is reworking the scripts originally produced by William Wheeler (Hoax, The Reluctant Fundamentalist) and Jamie Moss (Street Kings).

The film is expected to open 31 March 2017.