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Netflix teams up again with Ghost in the Shell studio Production I.G for a Terminator anime

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More evidence of Netflix’s huge anime investment

Image: TriStar Pictures

Netflix is pairing up with renowned Japanese anime studio Production I.G for an animated TV series set in the Terminator universe. The company is billing the project as a team-up between Matt Tomlin, the writer of the Netflix superhero film Project Power, and the studio best known for producing TV adaptations of legendary manga Ghost in the Shell, though little else is known about the show or when in the complex Terminator timeline it may take place.

This isn’t Netflix’s first time working with Production I.G. Beyond its Ghost in the Shell work, the studio is known as the animator of the Psycho-Pass series and the wildly popular sports anime Haikyu!! But with Netflix, Production I.G produced an original series called B: The Beginning (originally pitched under the name Perfect Bones), which debuted in 2018 with a long-awaited second season arriving on Netflix next month.

Terminator is one of the most iconic sci-fi stories ever created–and has only grown more relevant to our world over time,” John Derderian, Netflix’s vice president of Japan and anime, said in a statement to Variety. “The new animated series will explore this universe in a way that has never been done before. We can’t wait for fans to experience this amazing new chapter in the epic battle between machines and humans.” In addition to Production I.G, Netflix has reportedly brought in Skydance Media, too, the production company behind the last two Terminator films.

Netflix is no stranger to anime. The all-encompassing anime umbrella, which includes animated works of various styles and genres, has been one of the hottest streaming service content categories of the last half-decade.

Numerous platforms have shelled out big money over the last few years to both acquire the rights to stream existing anime series and also develop new, exclusive ones that can draw in new subscribers, with Netflix arguably leading the pack while longtime anime distributors like Funimation and Viz Media have become major players in the streaming licensing business. Late last year, Sony paid nearly $1.2 billion to acquire anime streaming service Crunchyroll from AT&T, yet more evidence of the entertainment industry fervor surrounding anime.

It’s paying off, too: more than 100 million households watched at least one episode of an anime on Netflix between October 2019 and September 2020, Variety reported last fall.