A new animated Ghost in the Shell project is moving forward, following the release of the live-action film adaptation. The latter movie is currently on its way to becoming one of 2017’s bigger box office failures. Grossing only $19 million during its U.S. opening weekend, the movie, based on the classic Ghost in the Shell manga/anime, has been hit hard by accusations of whitewashing – with the casting of Scarlett Joahnsson in what is traditionally an Asian role having seemingly damaged the movie’s chances of success, as has the middling reviews that Ghost in the Shell has received.
Ghost in the Shell is one of the most popular manga/anime properties around and has, over the years, spawned novels, video games, animated movies, and TV series. With the live-action incarnation having possibly dented the franchise’s reputation, it seems that a new animated take on Ghost in the Shell may provide a good opportunity to restore the property’s standing.
THR is reporting that a new animated Ghost in the Shell project is currently being developed by the publisher Kodansha, as well as the Japan-headquartered animation company Production I.G; with Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series) and Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) set to co-direct. There is currently no anticipated release date for the project, and no word on what format the anime could take; whether it will be a full-length movie with a theatrical release or a TV series, for example.
Ghost in the Shell (2017) is set in the near future, where the line between humans and robots is becoming blurred. The movie follows Major Mira Killian (Johansson), who has her brain placed in a cyborg body. Although she is the perfect soldier, she is, in effect, a “Ghost in a Shell”, and longs to learn of her past. It’s an intriguing concept, and one which deserves to be thoroughly explored. This new anime project will hopefully offer a different take on the franchise, while also avoiding any controversies. Anime is still essentially an Asian-dominated market, but it holds great appeal to Western audiences too. This new project, if done well, could potentially pave the way for more anime projects in the future that could be well-received by Western audiences, too.
Meanwhile, Ghost in the Shell (2017) continues to scrape poor box office numbers globally, taking only $72 million in its first week. As a result, Ghost in the Shell may result in a $60 million loss (or more) for Paramount Pictures. The movie opens in Japan this weekend, so it will be interesting to see the reception that it gets there.