Netflix's 'Ghost in the Shell' Series Will Arrive in 2020

The anime project will debut just two years after a 2017 film adaptation sparked backlash over the "whitewashing" of the lead role.
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix's new Ghost in the Shell series, this one featuring a Japanese 3D computer graphics-rendered main character, is set to land in 2020.

"YES, A NEW GHOST IN THE SHELL ANIME IS COMING," Netflix announced Friday on Twitter alongside an illustration of the lead character, Motoko Kusanagi. "Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 will be directed by Appleseed’s Shinji Aramaki and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex’s Kenji Kamiyama. On @Netflix in 2020! *desire to explore the true meaning of human consciousness intensifies*."

The new series will be realized in Japanese 3DCG by co-directors Kamiyama and Aramaki, as well as production studios Production I.G and SOLA DIGITAL ARTS. "It is a next-generation animation film and the first "GHOST IN THE SHELL" made by double directors," Netflix touted in a statement.

Co-directors Kamiyama and Aramaki are also currently helming Netflix's Ultraman, an anime about a Japanese superhero, which is set to arrive April 1 on the streaming platform.

The announcement comes just one year after the release of Rupert Sanders live-action adaptation of the original Ghost in the Shell manga by Masamune Shirow came under fire for casting a white actress, Scarlett Johansson, in the role of Kusanagi. After two years of controversy following the announcement of Johansson's casting, the film fared poorly with reviewers and American audiences, grossing just $40 million domestically.

Previously, the Shirow manga was adapted in a beloved 1995 anime film and its 2004 sequel Innocence, as well as the 2015 pic Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie. On television, it has been adapted into 2002's Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and 2013's Ghost in the Shell: Arise

This version of Ghost in the Shell was first announced in 2017.