Ghost in the Shell and the director behind its first animated series, the venerated Stand Alone Complex, are coming to Netflix in 2020 with a 3DCG series. The new series extends Netflix’s big push into anime for the coming two years.
Kenji Kamiyama, who directed 2002’s Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, is aboard for this project, titled Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045. Kamiyama and Production I.G. will team with with Shinji Aramaki and Sola Digital Arts (of the 3DCG series Appleseed) to co-direct the series. The directors are also working for Netflix on Ultraman, which premieres April 1, 2019.
Netflix is officially not messing around with anime for the next two years. In November, the company announced that a new series based on the Pacific Rim canon was coming, as would an adaptation of the Altered Carbon novel by Richard K. Morgan. That’s part of more than a dozen original Asian productions already coming to the subscription service. Then, three weeks ago, Netflix also announced that it had acquired the 1995 series Neon Genesis Evangelion and its 1997 sequel films.
An original adaptation of Ghost in the Shell further raises Netflix’s anime profile and should help rehabilitate the franchise stateside as well. Last year’s live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell was well received in Japan but reviewed poorly over here, and barely turned a profit worldwide. Criticisms of “whitewashing” (where a white actor stars in a role identified with another ethnicity) also dogged the film, in which Scarlett Johansson starred as the Major.