Scarlett Johansson To Star In Biopic 'Rub & Tug' From 'Ghost In The Shell' Director

When the remake of Ghost in the Shell opened last year it had been hobbled by months of controversy surrounding its star, Scarlett Johansson. Not that she did anything wrong, but claims of white-washing dogged the manga adaptation's production, and that undoubtedly had an effect on its low $169M box office. The disappointing numbers aside, Johansson clearly got along with director Rupert Sanders because they are about to work together again on a new film provocatively titled Rub & Tug.

Sanders will direct Johansson in the biopic of infamous Pittsburgh criminal Jean Marie Gill, and as you might have guessed she's known for running a bunch of illegal massage parlors in the 1970s. These parlors were all part of a steroids ring that the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers became swept up in. To crack the male dominated business Gill posed as a man, using connections within the gay community to grow her power base. Through all of this she had the support of her girlfriend, Cynthia, and their impassioned romance will serve as the movie's emotional core. The screenplay is by Gary Spinelli, who wrote last year's underrated American Made with Tom Cruise.

Johansson continues to make interesting choices away from the Marvel stuff that dominates so much of her career. She's currently filming Taika Waititi's comedy Jojo Rabbit, and earlier this year lent her voice to Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs. She will also star with Adam Driver in Noah Baumbach's upcoming film this fall.  Production on Rub & Tug begins in February. [Deadline]