Netflix Reviving ‘Ghost in the Shell’ as 2020 Anime — Please, No Whitewashed Voice Cast

The new “Ghost in the Shell” will be co-directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama.

Netflix’s major push into anime continues with the announcement the streaming giant is planning a brand new “Ghost in the Shell” anime for a 2020 debut. The series, officially titled “Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045,” is being co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama (“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex”) and Shinji Araki (“Appleseed”). It’s unclear at this point whether or not the project is a feature film or a television series.

“Ghost in the Shell” originally started as a hugely popular manga series written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The series was famously adapted into a 1995 anime film of the same name, directed by Mamoru Oshii. The anime “Ghost in the Shell” is largely credited with influencing science-fiction cinema into the 21st century, most evidently “The Matrix” soundtrack.

While Netflix has not revealed further details about “Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045,” here’s hoping the voice cast remains culturally appropriate. The last go-around with “Ghost in the Shell” in the media was Rupert Sanders’ much-maligned 2017 movie, which controversially cast Scarlett Johansson in the lead role and brought worldwide attention to Hollywood’s whitewashing issue.

“Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045” joins Netflix’s growing anime slate, which also includes a live-action adaptation of “Cowboy Bebop.” Netflix ordered a 10-episode season of “Bebop” in late November. The streaming giant is also working on a live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s beloved “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series.

Netflix’s upcoming “Ghost in the Shell” series will be a collaboration between studios Production I.G. and SOLA Digital Arts. Netflix is touting the series as a “next-generation animation film.”

New ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Animated Series Lands at Netflix

The new “Ghost in the Shell” animated series from Production I.G has landed at Netflix, the company announced on Friday.

The anime series, titled “Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045” will premiere worldwide on the streamer in 2020.

As previously announced,  Kenji Kamiyama (“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” series) and Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed”) will co-direct the project, a new story based on the original manga series. Animation studio Production I.G will team with Sola Digital Arts, the studio behind Netflix’s upcoming “Ultraman.”

Also Read: Netflix Paying Almost $100 Million for ‘Friends’ Proves Old Series Still Matter

“YES, A NEW GHOST IN THE SHELL ANIME IS COMING,” the company wrote on its sci-fi centric Twitter account. “‘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 anime series will be the latest installment in the “Ghost in the Shell” franchise, following the 2017 live-action film, which received widespread criticism for casting white actress Scarlett Johansson as the Japanese character Motoko Kusanagi.

YES, A NEW GHOST IN THE SHELL ANIME IS COMING.
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* pic.twitter.com/MgKzX2KydQ

— NX (@NXOnNetflix) December 8, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Gets Thumbs Up in Japan, But is Still in Box Office Trouble

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Animation Project Gets Green Light at Japan’s Production IG

4 Reasons Why ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Was A Box Office Malfunction, Despite Scarlett Johansson

The new “Ghost in the Shell” animated series from Production I.G has landed at Netflix, the company announced on Friday.

The anime series, titled “Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045” will premiere worldwide on the streamer in 2020.

As previously announced,  Kenji Kamiyama (“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” series) and Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed”) will co-direct the project, a new story based on the original manga series. Animation studio Production I.G will team with Sola Digital Arts, the studio behind Netflix’s upcoming “Ultraman.”

“YES, A NEW GHOST IN THE SHELL ANIME IS COMING,” the company wrote on its sci-fi centric Twitter account. “‘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 anime series will be the latest installment in the “Ghost in the Shell” franchise, following the 2017 live-action film, which received widespread criticism for casting white actress Scarlett Johansson as the Japanese character Motoko Kusanagi.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Ghost in the Shell' Gets Thumbs Up in Japan, But is Still in Box Office Trouble

'Ghost in the Shell' Animation Project Gets Green Light at Japan's Production IG

4 Reasons Why 'Ghost in the Shell' Was A Box Office Malfunction, Despite Scarlett Johansson

New Edition Of ‘Ghost In The Shell’ Franchise Heading To Netflix

Netflix continues to go big into anime, announcing a new Ghost in the Shell project set for worldwide distribution in 2020. The announcement was made via Twitter.
Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 will have directors Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand…

Netflix continues to go big into anime, announcing a new Ghost in the Shell project set for worldwide distribution in 2020. The announcement was made via Twitter. Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 will have directors Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) & Shinji Araki (Appleseed) on board. The new title will be a collaboration between studios Production I.G. and SOLA Digital Arts. Production I.G animated all of the anime projects for Ghost in the Shell

The 11 Most Disappointing Movies of 2017

When you look back at 2017, most of the movies weren’t what made history. Hollywood was rocked by a series of sexual harassment allegations, which led to the firings of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and others. That led to an important national dialogue about conduct in the workplace. TV once again […]

When you look back at 2017, most of the movies weren’t what made history. Hollywood was rocked by a series of sexual harassment allegations, which led to the firings of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and others. That led to an important national dialogue about conduct in the workplace. TV once again […]

15 Best Trash Movies of 2017 So Far, From ‘John Wick’ to ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ (Photos)

Normally when we decide whether a movie is “good” we use arbitrary qualifications like “does it say anything meaningful” or “does it make sense”. But I’m into that. I’m into whether a movie makes me feel things in my gut. I’m into experiences. I’m into having a great time. I’m into trash. And these are the best trash movies of the year.

15. “Friend Request” 

It had me when one of the main characters yelled “Unfriend that dead bitch!”

14. “Sleepless”

I’m a huge fan of this sort of movie where everybody looks and acts like they haven’t slept in month and wish they were dead and none of the characters are really likable in the normal sense.

13. “The Great Wall”

Got a bad rap early on for the perception that it’s another “white savior in Asia” movie, but the truth is much better: “The Great Wall” is Chinese communist propaganda about how awful societies led by white people are. Which is true. All the crazy colors and awesome monster fights are just a bonus.

12. “Monster Trucks”

It’s like “E.T.,” but with giant tentacle monsters that drive pickup trucks. What’s not to like?

11. “Free Fire”

Ben Wheatley manages to appeal to my base emotions whether he’s going absolutely nuts (“High-Rise”) or just doing this little comedy about a gun deal gone bad that’s mostly just people sitting in a warehouse yelling and shooting at each other. It’s pulpy nonsense, and I mean that as a compliment.

10. “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Possibly the most Michael Bay movie of all time, because even though the plot makes so little sense I could not even track the sequence of events from beginning to end it’s still a thoroughly thrilling visual masterpiece.

9. “Fifty Shades Darker”

I’m not sure who the intended audience is for this movie where Dakota Johnson puts large metal balls in her vagina during a party and then has sex with the main dude in his childhood bedroom in front of a “Chronicles of Riddick” poster, but I’m glad it exists.

8. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” 

Fun in basically the same way as the first one, with villainous Julianne Moore as an added delight. Not to mention Bruce Greenwood’s incredible turn as what feels like a vision of President Jeff Sessions.

7. “Atomic Blonde”

This is a movie you can feel, with Charlize Theron winning every fight but needing a nice long nap afterward — that’s relatable content! Slimy James McAvoy is always welcome as well.

6. “Ghost in the Shell”

This one feels like it was tailored to my specific preferences — outlandish cyberpunk aesthetic, everybody talking in a deadpan tone and suppressing their emotions, corporations being overtly evil, Beat Takeshi. It’s pulpy, genre trash, and also just great.

5. “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”

Somehow this movie manages to, in a single movie, convincingly establish a “Fast and Furious”-style #family. It also has Vin Diesel skiing down a rock mountain and surfing on a dirt bike. It’s legitimately great, and easily the best Donnie Yen movie of the winter.

4. “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”

The decision to kill off most of the cast between movies is a bit frustrating, but otherwise it’s a total delight. It’s tough to not respect a movie that has this flagrant a disregard for franchise continuity, especially when it’s in service of brutal social commentary about how terrible capitalists are.

3. “The Fate of the Furious”

The greatest development in Hollywood in my lifetime has been the elevation of my favorite trash movie franchise. “F8” is hardly the best of the series, but it nonetheless is a total blast that still hits you right in the feels at every opportunity.

2. “Underworld: Blood Wars”

You’ve got Charles Dance doing sword fights, Tobias Menzies as the werewolf villain and Kate Beckinsale dying, going to vampire heaven and returning with superpowers and a new hairstyle. In other words, this is a trash classic.

1. “John Wick Chapter 2”

Has more meat than the first one thanks in no small part to the addition of Common and Ruby Rose as boss fights, meaning this two hours of sustained Sad Keanu Murder manages to engage your brain as well as your heart.

Normally when we decide whether a movie is “good” we use arbitrary qualifications like “does it say anything meaningful” or “does it make sense”. But I’m into that. I’m into whether a movie makes me feel things in my gut. I’m into experiences. I’m into having a great time. I’m into trash. And these are the best trash movies of the year.

15. “Friend Request” 

It had me when one of the main characters yelled “Unfriend that dead bitch!”

14. “Sleepless”

I’m a huge fan of this sort of movie where everybody looks and acts like they haven’t slept in month and wish they were dead and none of the characters are really likable in the normal sense.

13. “The Great Wall”

Got a bad rap early on for the perception that it’s another “white savior in Asia” movie, but the truth is much better: “The Great Wall” is Chinese communist propaganda about how awful societies led by white people are. Which is true. All the crazy colors and awesome monster fights are just a bonus.

12. “Monster Trucks”

It’s like “E.T.,” but with giant tentacle monsters that drive pickup trucks. What’s not to like?

11. “Free Fire”

Ben Wheatley manages to appeal to my base emotions whether he’s going absolutely nuts (“High-Rise”) or just doing this little comedy about a gun deal gone bad that’s mostly just people sitting in a warehouse yelling and shooting at each other. It’s pulpy nonsense, and I mean that as a compliment.

10. “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Possibly the most Michael Bay movie of all time, because even though the plot makes so little sense I could not even track the sequence of events from beginning to end it’s still a thoroughly thrilling visual masterpiece.

9. “Fifty Shades Darker”

I’m not sure who the intended audience is for this movie where Dakota Johnson puts large metal balls in her vagina during a party and then has sex with the main dude in his childhood bedroom in front of a “Chronicles of Riddick” poster, but I’m glad it exists.

8. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” 

Fun in basically the same way as the first one, with villainous Julianne Moore as an added delight. Not to mention Bruce Greenwood’s incredible turn as what feels like a vision of President Jeff Sessions.

7. “Atomic Blonde”

This is a movie you can feel, with Charlize Theron winning every fight but needing a nice long nap afterward — that’s relatable content! Slimy James McAvoy is always welcome as well.

6. “Ghost in the Shell”

This one feels like it was tailored to my specific preferences — outlandish cyberpunk aesthetic, everybody talking in a deadpan tone and suppressing their emotions, corporations being overtly evil, Beat Takeshi. It’s pulpy, genre trash, and also just great.

5. “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”

Somehow this movie manages to, in a single movie, convincingly establish a “Fast and Furious”-style #family. It also has Vin Diesel skiing down a rock mountain and surfing on a dirt bike. It’s legitimately great, and easily the best Donnie Yen movie of the winter.

4. “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”

The decision to kill off most of the cast between movies is a bit frustrating, but otherwise it’s a total delight. It’s tough to not respect a movie that has this flagrant a disregard for franchise continuity, especially when it’s in service of brutal social commentary about how terrible capitalists are.

3. “The Fate of the Furious”

The greatest development in Hollywood in my lifetime has been the elevation of my favorite trash movie franchise. “F8” is hardly the best of the series, but it nonetheless is a total blast that still hits you right in the feels at every opportunity.

2. “Underworld: Blood Wars”

You’ve got Charles Dance doing sword fights, Tobias Menzies as the werewolf villain and Kate Beckinsale dying, going to vampire heaven and returning with superpowers and a new hairstyle. In other words, this is a trash classic.

1. “John Wick Chapter 2”

Has more meat than the first one thanks in no small part to the addition of Common and Ruby Rose as boss fights, meaning this two hours of sustained Sad Keanu Murder manages to engage your brain as well as your heart.

Is ‘Hellboy’ Whitewashing Proof of Hollywood ‘Genocide Through Script Revisions’?

Ed Skrein announced this week that he is dropping out of the upcoming “Hellboy” remake following backlash over a white performer playing a character who is Asian in the comic books. The on-the-rise actor’s exit statement called for increased inclusivity and earned widespread praise.

But this latest example of Hollywood whitewashing raises renewed questions about whether the film industry is indeed making strides in providing leading roles for Asian-American actors and performers of color in general.

“Hopefully, this will mark a turning point in the ever-increasing trend of non-Asian actors taking parts originally written for Asians,” Guy Aoki, founding president of Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), told TheWrap. Skrein’s stance has forced ‘Hellboy’ producers Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Millennium and Lionsgate to say they will now do what they should’ve done in the first place — find an Asian-American actor to play the part.”

Also Read: ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’: Does It Rely on ‘Troubling’ Racial Stereotypes With White Man Saving Black Criminal?

The “Hellboy” team initially defended last week’s casting announcement of Skrein in the Neil Marshall-directed film that stars David Harbour. Executive producer Christa Campbell wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “Someone comes and does a great audition to get the role. Stop projecting your own s– onto us. We are all one. We don’t see colors or race.” (Campbell also produced “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” a film that has earned criticism for seemingly relying on racial stereotypes.)

Joann Lee, professor at William Paterson University and author of “Asian Americans in the 21st Century,” told TheWrap in reference to Campbell’s tweet, “It’s time for the Hollywood casting mindset to change. Not seeing colors or race is the problem.”

Skrein’s departure from the role of Major Ben Daimio follows flaps over previous films that featured white performers in roles conceived as Asian, including Tilda Swinton in “Doctor Strange,” Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost in the Shell” and Emma Stone in “Aloha.”

Also Read: Will ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Flap Lead to Changes for Actors of Color?

Additionally, CBS received flak earlier this summer after announcing that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park had exited “Hawaii Five-0” following unsuccessful contract negotiations.

“This is classic Hollywood — someone is always on the outside looking in,” Matthew Hashiguchi, a documentary filmmaker and assistant professor in multimedia film & production at Georgia Southern University, told TheWrap. “And in the case of Asian-Americans, they’re being completely removed from the story’s existence. It’s like genocide through script revisions.”

Hashiguchi doesn’t understand why these decisions keep getting made, given the outcry that routinely follows.

“Asian America is clearly tuned into this and ready to pounce whenever it happens, so how can someone not have the foresight to realize that whitewashing a character is going to have a negative reaction?” he said. “Asian-Americans are just as tired of this issue as executive producers and studio heads are.”

Peter X Feng, professor at the University of Delaware and an expert on Asian-Americans and the media, believes that while Skrein’s move is meaningful, it doesn’t necessarily signify progress on a bigger scale, particularly when studios don’t appear to be strengthening an effective pipeline to stardom for actors of color.

“I do think Skrein’s decision will make an impact, but this is a two-steps-forward, one-step-back situation,” Feng told TheWrap. “Things will change when the powers that be decide that developing more minority actors is more cost-effective than hiring PR experts to do damage control.”

“Angry Asian Man” blogger Phil Yu told TheWrap that Skrein “sets a powerful precedent” and helps by “placing pressure on actors to avoid taking roles like this.” But Yu pointed out that the issue should have been ironed out before the “Game of Thrones” alum got the part.

Also Read: 4 Reasons Why ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Was A Box Office Malfunction, Despite Scarlett Johansson

“That responsibility shouldn’t fall solely on the performer,” Yu said. “That’s actually near the end of the process. Producers and studios need to be more conscientious about casting to avoid getting into this position in the first place.”

Concerns remain that Hollywood’s struggle with casting Asian-Americans in film and TV leads has ramifications that reverberate far beyond the entertainment sector.

“People can’t pronounce Asian names, and many in the U.S. think that if someone looks Asian, they won’t speak English or are a foreigner,” Hashiguchi said. “This is partially due to the fact that Asian-Americans aren’t introduced to American society through movies and television. We’re perpetual foreigners.”

Representatives for Lionsgate and Neil Marshall declined to comment for this story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Riz Ahmed, Jessica Chastain Praise Ed Skrein’s ‘Hellboy’ Exit Over Whitewashing: ‘Respect’

‘Hellboy’ Reboot: Ed Skrein Exits After Whitewashing Criticism

Before ‘Ghost in the Shell’: 15 Notorious Cases of Hollywood Whitewashing (Photos)

Scarlett Johansson Defends Her ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Role, Says it Isn’t Whitewashing (Video)

Ed Skrein announced this week that he is dropping out of the upcoming “Hellboy” remake following backlash over a white performer playing a character who is Asian in the comic books. The on-the-rise actor’s exit statement called for increased inclusivity and earned widespread praise.

But this latest example of Hollywood whitewashing raises renewed questions about whether the film industry is indeed making strides in providing leading roles for Asian-American actors and performers of color in general.

“Hopefully, this will mark a turning point in the ever-increasing trend of non-Asian actors taking parts originally written for Asians,” Guy Aoki, founding president of Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), told TheWrap. Skrein’s stance has forced ‘Hellboy’ producers Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Millennium and Lionsgate to say they will now do what they should’ve done in the first place — find an Asian-American actor to play the part.”

The “Hellboy” team initially defended last week’s casting announcement of Skrein in the Neil Marshall-directed film that stars David Harbour. Executive producer Christa Campbell wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “Someone comes and does a great audition to get the role. Stop projecting your own s– onto us. We are all one. We don’t see colors or race.” (Campbell also produced “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” a film that has earned criticism for seemingly relying on racial stereotypes.)

Joann Lee, professor at William Paterson University and author of “Asian Americans in the 21st Century,” told TheWrap in reference to Campbell’s tweet, “It’s time for the Hollywood casting mindset to change. Not seeing colors or race is the problem.”

Skrein’s departure from the role of Major Ben Daimio follows flaps over previous films that featured white performers in roles conceived as Asian, including Tilda Swinton in “Doctor Strange,” Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost in the Shell” and Emma Stone in “Aloha.”

Additionally, CBS received flak earlier this summer after announcing that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park had exited “Hawaii Five-0” following unsuccessful contract negotiations.

“This is classic Hollywood — someone is always on the outside looking in,” Matthew Hashiguchi, a documentary filmmaker and assistant professor in multimedia film & production at Georgia Southern University, told TheWrap. “And in the case of Asian-Americans, they’re being completely removed from the story’s existence. It’s like genocide through script revisions.”

Hashiguchi doesn’t understand why these decisions keep getting made, given the outcry that routinely follows.

“Asian America is clearly tuned into this and ready to pounce whenever it happens, so how can someone not have the foresight to realize that whitewashing a character is going to have a negative reaction?” he said. “Asian-Americans are just as tired of this issue as executive producers and studio heads are.”

Peter X Feng, professor at the University of Delaware and an expert on Asian-Americans and the media, believes that while Skrein’s move is meaningful, it doesn’t necessarily signify progress on a bigger scale, particularly when studios don’t appear to be strengthening an effective pipeline to stardom for actors of color.

“I do think Skrein’s decision will make an impact, but this is a two-steps-forward, one-step-back situation,” Feng told TheWrap. “Things will change when the powers that be decide that developing more minority actors is more cost-effective than hiring PR experts to do damage control.”

“Angry Asian Man” blogger Phil Yu told TheWrap that Skrein “sets a powerful precedent” and helps by “placing pressure on actors to avoid taking roles like this.” But Yu pointed out that the issue should have been ironed out before the “Game of Thrones” alum got the part.

“That responsibility shouldn’t fall solely on the performer,” Yu said. “That’s actually near the end of the process. Producers and studios need to be more conscientious about casting to avoid getting into this position in the first place.”

Concerns remain that Hollywood’s struggle with casting Asian-Americans in film and TV leads has ramifications that reverberate far beyond the entertainment sector.

“People can’t pronounce Asian names, and many in the U.S. think that if someone looks Asian, they won’t speak English or are a foreigner,” Hashiguchi said. “This is partially due to the fact that Asian-Americans aren’t introduced to American society through movies and television. We’re perpetual foreigners.”

Representatives for Lionsgate and Neil Marshall declined to comment for this story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Riz Ahmed, Jessica Chastain Praise Ed Skrein's 'Hellboy' Exit Over Whitewashing: 'Respect'

'Hellboy' Reboot: Ed Skrein Exits After Whitewashing Criticism

Before 'Ghost in the Shell': 15 Notorious Cases of Hollywood Whitewashing (Photos)

Scarlett Johansson Defends Her 'Ghost in the Shell' Role, Says it Isn't Whitewashing (Video)

15 Best Trash Movies of 2017 So Far, From ‘King Arthur’ to ‘John Wick’ (Photos)

Normally when we decide whether a movie is “good” we use arbitrary qualifications like “does it say anything meaningful” or “does it make sense”. But I’m into that. I’m into whether a movie makes me feel things in my gut. I’m into experiences. I’m into having a great time. I’m into trash. And these are the best trash movies of the year.

15. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Look, I don’t like the video game CGI parts either, but I absolutely love the large chunks of this movie where it’s basically just Guy Ritchie making a medieval “Snatch.”

14. “Unforgettable”

The racial subtext of having Katherine Heigl prey on Rosario Dawson (possibly unintentional, as I’d guess it was written with an all white cast in mind) elevates what would otherwise have been just a regular fun trashy melodrama.

13. “Sleepless”

I’m a huge fan of this sort of movie where everybody looks and acts like they haven’t slept in month and wish they were dead and none of the characters are really likable in the normal sense.

12. “The Great Wall”

Got a bad rap early on for the perception that it’s another “white savior in Asia” movie, but the truth is much better: “The Great Wall” is Chinese communist propaganda about how awful societies led by white people are. Which is true. All the crazy colors and awesome monster fights are just a bonus.

11. “Monster Trucks”

It’s like “E.T.,” but with giant tentacle monsters that drive pickup trucks. What’s not to like?

10. “Free Fire”

Ben Wheatley manages to appeal to my base emotions whether he’s going absolutely nuts (“High-Rise”) or just doing this little comedy about a gun deal gone bad that’s mostly just people sitting in a warehouse yelling and shooting at each other. It’s pulpy nonsense, and I mean that as a compliment.

9. “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Possibly the most Michael Bay movie of all time, because even though the plot makes so little sense I could not even track the sequence of events from beginning to end it’s still a thoroughly thrilling visual masterpiece.

8. “Fifty Shades Darker”

I’m not sure who the intended audience is for this movie where Dakota Johnson puts large metal balls in her vagina during a party and then has sex with the main dude in his childhood bedroom in front of a “Chronicles of Riddick” poster, but I’m glad it exists.

7. “Atomic Blonde”

This is a movie you can feel, with Charlize Theron winning every fight but needing a nice long nap afterward — that’s relatable content! Slimy James McAvoy is always welcome as well.

6. “Ghost in the Shell”

This one feels like it was tailored to my specific preferences — outlandish cyberpunk aesthetic, everybody talking in a deadpan tone and suppressing their emotions, corporations being overtly evil, Beat Takeshi. It’s pulpy, genre trash, and also just great.

5. “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”

Somehow this movie manages to, in a single movie, convincingly establish a “Fast and Furious”-style #family. It also has Vin Diesel skiing down a rock mountain and surfing on a dirt bike. It’s legitimately great, and easily the best Donnie Yen movie of the winter.

4. “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”

The decision to kill off most of the cast between movies is a bit frustrating, but otherwise it’s a total delight. It’s tough to not respect a movie that has this flagrant a disregard for franchise continuity, especially when it’s in service of brutal social commentary about how terrible capitalists are.

3. “The Fate of the Furious”

The greatest development in Hollywood in my lifetime has been the elevation of my favorite trash movie franchise. “F8” is hardly the best of the series, but it nonetheless is a total blast that still hits you right in the feels at every opportunity.

2. “Underworld: Blood Wars”

You’ve got Charles Dance doing sword fights, Tobias Menzies as the werewolf villain and Kate Beckinsale dying, going to vampire heaven and returning with superpowers and a new hairstyle. In other words, this is a trash classic.

1. “John Wick Chapter 2”

Has more meat than the first one thanks in no small part to the addition of Common and Ruby Rose as boss fights, meaning this two hours of sustained Sad Keanu Murder manages to engage your brain as well as your heart.

Normally when we decide whether a movie is “good” we use arbitrary qualifications like “does it say anything meaningful” or “does it make sense”. But I’m into that. I’m into whether a movie makes me feel things in my gut. I’m into experiences. I’m into having a great time. I’m into trash. And these are the best trash movies of the year.

15. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Look, I don’t like the video game CGI parts either, but I absolutely love the large chunks of this movie where it’s basically just Guy Ritchie making a medieval “Snatch.”

14. “Unforgettable”

The racial subtext of having Katherine Heigl prey on Rosario Dawson (possibly unintentional, as I’d guess it was written with an all white cast in mind) elevates what would otherwise have been just a regular fun trashy melodrama.

13. “Sleepless”

I’m a huge fan of this sort of movie where everybody looks and acts like they haven’t slept in month and wish they were dead and none of the characters are really likable in the normal sense.

12. “The Great Wall”

Got a bad rap early on for the perception that it’s another “white savior in Asia” movie, but the truth is much better: “The Great Wall” is Chinese communist propaganda about how awful societies led by white people are. Which is true. All the crazy colors and awesome monster fights are just a bonus.

11. “Monster Trucks”

It’s like “E.T.,” but with giant tentacle monsters that drive pickup trucks. What’s not to like?

10. “Free Fire”

Ben Wheatley manages to appeal to my base emotions whether he’s going absolutely nuts (“High-Rise”) or just doing this little comedy about a gun deal gone bad that’s mostly just people sitting in a warehouse yelling and shooting at each other. It’s pulpy nonsense, and I mean that as a compliment.

9. “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Possibly the most Michael Bay movie of all time, because even though the plot makes so little sense I could not even track the sequence of events from beginning to end it’s still a thoroughly thrilling visual masterpiece.

8. “Fifty Shades Darker”

I’m not sure who the intended audience is for this movie where Dakota Johnson puts large metal balls in her vagina during a party and then has sex with the main dude in his childhood bedroom in front of a “Chronicles of Riddick” poster, but I’m glad it exists.

7. “Atomic Blonde”

This is a movie you can feel, with Charlize Theron winning every fight but needing a nice long nap afterward — that’s relatable content! Slimy James McAvoy is always welcome as well.

6. “Ghost in the Shell”

This one feels like it was tailored to my specific preferences — outlandish cyberpunk aesthetic, everybody talking in a deadpan tone and suppressing their emotions, corporations being overtly evil, Beat Takeshi. It’s pulpy, genre trash, and also just great.

5. “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”

Somehow this movie manages to, in a single movie, convincingly establish a “Fast and Furious”-style #family. It also has Vin Diesel skiing down a rock mountain and surfing on a dirt bike. It’s legitimately great, and easily the best Donnie Yen movie of the winter.

4. “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”

The decision to kill off most of the cast between movies is a bit frustrating, but otherwise it’s a total delight. It’s tough to not respect a movie that has this flagrant a disregard for franchise continuity, especially when it’s in service of brutal social commentary about how terrible capitalists are.

3. “The Fate of the Furious”

The greatest development in Hollywood in my lifetime has been the elevation of my favorite trash movie franchise. “F8” is hardly the best of the series, but it nonetheless is a total blast that still hits you right in the feels at every opportunity.

2. “Underworld: Blood Wars”

You’ve got Charles Dance doing sword fights, Tobias Menzies as the werewolf villain and Kate Beckinsale dying, going to vampire heaven and returning with superpowers and a new hairstyle. In other words, this is a trash classic.

1. “John Wick Chapter 2”

Has more meat than the first one thanks in no small part to the addition of Common and Ruby Rose as boss fights, meaning this two hours of sustained Sad Keanu Murder manages to engage your brain as well as your heart.

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Is a Masterclass in How Not to Make an Adaptation — Watch

A new video essay explains where the live action version went wrong, with no mention of whitewashing.

A lot has been written about 2017’s live action “Ghost in the Shell” remake. The popular manga series by Masamune Shirow had already seen several successful anime adaptations when Scarlett Johansson stepped into what became one of her most controversial roles to date. Fans of the original and advocates for racial diversity alike were disappointed that a Japanese character had been cast with a white actress, and “Ghost in the Shell” became the latest glaring example in a long line of Hollywood “whitewashing.”

But that wasn’t the only thing Dreamworks got wrong in their version. A compelling new video essay by The Nerdwriter argues that the latest “Ghost in the Shell” stole images from the anime, but missed the point of the story by dulling their vibrancy and diminishing their power.

A side by side comparison of one shot reveals how the light on the bed draws the viewer’s eye to the least interesting thing in the frame, whereas the anime version casts the light from outside, creating a beautiful backlit figure as well as a satisfying frame within the frame. The narrator also mourns the loss of beautiful city signage in exchange for a drab building, and points out how even a simple costuming choice like a beige shirt over a red one can suck the life out of a scene.

Most compelling of all is the way he argues that the smallest details, like a well-timed smirk or a minor character’s back story, can pull the whole story into focus. By skimping on these simple world-building details, “Ghost in the Shell” ended up missing the entire plot.

Check it out:

‘The Fate of the Furious’ Breaks ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ International Box Office Records — But Not So At Home

It’s an extraordinary achievement for the Universal franchise, but the domestic results fall considerably short of “The Fast and Furious 7.”

Give credit where it’s due: “The Fate of the Furious” had the best overseas opening for any film, ever — just above “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and far above “Jurassic World.” Since its overseas opening last Wednesday, it’s earned around $430 million. That’s great for Universal, and any weekend with a $100 million opening is a good thing. But beneath the headlines are some curious results that aren’t 100 percent positive.

“The Fate of the Furious”

The Top Ten

1. The Fate of the Furious (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 56; Est. budget: $250 million

$100,182,000 in 4,310 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $23,244; Cumulative: $100,182,000

2. The Boss Baby (20th Century Fox) Week 3 – Last weekend #1

$15,540,000 (-41%) in 3,743 theaters (-86); PTA: $4,152; Cumulative: $116,324,000

3. Beauty and the Beast (Disney) Week 5 – Last weekend #2

$13,634,000 (-42%) in 3,592 theaters (-377); PTA: $4,152; Cumulative: $454,650,000

4. Smurfs: The Lost Village (Sony) Week 2 – Last weekend #3

$6,500,000 (-51%) in 3,610 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,801; Cumulative: $24,728,000

5. Going in Style (Warner Bros.) Week 2 – Last weekend #4

$6,350,000 (-47%) in 3,076 theaters (+15); PTA: $2,064; Cumulative: $23,376,000

6. Gifted (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 – Last weekend #16

$3,000,000 (+572%) in 1,146 theaters (+1,090); PTA: $2,618; Cumulative: $4,370,000

7. Get Out (Universal) Week 8 – Last weekend #8

$2,918,000 (-28%) in 1,424 theaters (-150); PTA: $2,049; Cumulative: $167,548,000

8. Power Rangers (Lionsgate) Week 4 – Last weekend #6

$2,850,000 (-54%) in 2,171 theaters (-807); PTA: $1,313; Cumulative: $80,564,000

9. The Case for Christ (Pure Flix) Week 2 – Last weekend #10

$2,720,000 (-31%) in 1,386 theaters (+212); PTA: $1,962; Cumulative: $8,448,000

10. Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros.) Week 6 – Last weekend #7

$2,670,000 (-52%) in 2,018 theaters (-735); PTA: $1,323; Cumulative: $161,246,000

The Takeaways

Statham The Rock Fate of the Furious

“The Fate of the Furious”

Yes, “Fate of the Furious” Is Impressive. But.

In adjusted gross, “The Fast and the Furious 7” in 2015 opened to $148 million domestic. “Fate” opened considerably lower, down 31 percent. (The final appearance from Paul Walker likely made a bigger difference among American fans than elsewhere.) “Fate” is also is about the same as “Fast & Furious 6” in 2013, though that had the benefit of the Memorial Day weekend.

This weekend’s top 10 will gross $8 million less than a year ago, when “The Jungle Book” opened to $103 million and was not the sole new wide release. And it’s $86 million less than the earlier Easter weekend last year, when “Batman v Superman” opened to $166 million. Why the drop? The lower number for “Furious” is a key reason, but its presence scared other distributors away from the date. Easter weekend often is prime for new releases. Last year saw “Barbershop: The Next Cut” open to $20 million, and the lower-grossing “Criminal” added $6 million more to the total.

This ends a string of weekends that mostly improved on the preceding year. It’s not a harbinger or game changer; “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Disney) is ahead, and will be an important gauge.

The surprise in the Top Ten was Fox Searchlight’s “Gifted,” which in 1,146 theaters grossed $3 million and placed sixth. It is among other recent limited and older audience films led by “The Zookeeper’s Wife” that are finding positive reception with wider ticket buyers.

Of minor note: Open Road opened the Canadian/Korean animated film “Spark: A Space Tail” in only 365 theaters, where it grossed $112,000 — the same as “The Lost City of Z” (Bleecker Street) managed in five theaters in its best-of-the-weekend new limited openers.

Some Takeaways on “The Fate of the Furious”

“Fate” benefited from an all-cylinders-blasting campaign that built on its growing international appeal, even if the emphasis aimed outside North America.

— The U.S./Canada gross adjusted is the third best in the franchise (below the last two); the rest of the world is seeing franchise record-level results.

— U.S./Canada is only 19 percent of the world, and “Furious 7” saw them at 23 percent of the final result. This one will be close, but less.

— U.S./Canada is down 32 percent from “Furious 7.” It was the biggest in the franchise in China (at $190 million, the best-ever weekend opening for a Western film), South Korea, and the U.K..

— All international-opening comparisons are a bit apples and oranges, since China did not open until more than a week after most of the world.

— The domestic performance is tracking similar to “Furious 7”: Both titles dropped 31 percent their first Saturday. That suggests a full-run domestic multiple of 2.4, similar to the last two entries. That could mean $240 million of what looks like a possible $1.2 billion worldwide.

— “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was driven by U.S./Canada numbers (45 percent of worldwide), while “Furious 7” saw less than a quarter of total in domestic returns. “Furious 7” actually outgrossed “Force” outside the U.S./Canada.

— Per Universal’s audience surveys, only 41 percent on the U.S./Canada audience was white. 26 percent was Latino, 19 percent African-American. The latter two demographics have not been as strongly represented in most of this year’s successes. But the relative dearth of white attendees — who likely consistent with overall results were younger and male, a consistently declining group of ticket buyers — is noticeable and cause for concern.

“The Boss Baby” and “Beauty and the Beast” Still Thrive

Of note is that “Baby” continues to best “Beauty,” as they both continue to show strength. Dreamworks’ latest entry looks on track to hit $150 million in domestic take, which would put it in a range of their recent films. With its more adult appeal and head to head competition with “Beauty” it’s a credible performance, although not one that will stand out at the top of the year’s animated hits.

“Beauty” looks still to top out around $500 million domestic. It is approaching the highest levels of live-action fantasy films — only “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” looks to better it among all-time similar films in adjusted figures. That will put it ahead of the other two in that franchise and all the “Harry Potter” films. Far behind are Disney’s own recent hits “The Jungle Book” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

At a half billion domestic, it would end up as the fifth biggest musical ever, behind only “The Sound of Music,” “Mary Poppins,” “Grease,” and “My Fair Lady,” all from decades ago. It will soon best “West Side Story.” Worldwide, it could end up second only to “The Sound of Music” in success as it reaches close to $1.2 million.

Ghost in the Shell Scarlett Johansson

Other Holdovers

Sony didn’t position “Smurfs: A Lost Village” a week before Easter to see it drop 51 percent its second weekend, even more with its disappointing opening. Overseas is doing better ($90 million so far compared $25 million domestic).

“Going in Style” after showing a little strength during weekdays dropped 47 percent, not awful but also not likely enough to keep this older-skewing film healthy versus a range of alternative entries.

Worst of all is “The Ghost in the Shell” (Paramount), falling out of the top 10 in its third weekend with a 67 percent drop. “Power Rangers” is doing better, but its 54 percent drop guarantees this expensive production won’t reach $100 million domestic, where so far it is outpacing overseas.

“The Case for Christ” (Pure Flix) added theaters, but will fall 31 percent despite its holiday-weekend placement. The glory days of faith-based films like “God’s Not Dead” might be behind us.

“Get Out” is impervious to losing dates and to competition: It fell a puny 28 percent. It looks now to reach $180 million.

 

Japan Box Office: ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Opens Behind ‘Sing’

TOKYO – “Sing” topped the Japanese box office chart for the fourth successive weekend, while “Ghost in the Shell,” Paramount’s live action adaptation of a Japanese anime, opened modestly in behind. Its opening positions “Ghost” to be neither a thumping success, nor a thudding failure. “Sing” scored $2.8 million from 236,000 admissions on Saturday and Sunday…. Read more »

TOKYO – “Sing” topped the Japanese box office chart for the fourth successive weekend, while “Ghost in the Shell,” Paramount’s live action adaptation of a Japanese anime, opened modestly in behind. Its opening positions “Ghost” to be neither a thumping success, nor a thudding failure. “Sing” scored $2.8 million from 236,000 admissions on Saturday and Sunday.... Read more »

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Gets Thumbs Up in Japan, But is Still in Box Office Trouble

While Scarlett Johansson’s casting and dim reviews drowned “Ghost in the Shell” in negative publicity in the United States, the live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime film was much better received in the source material’s country-of-origin, Japan.

In its opening weekend across the Pacific, “Ghost in the Shell” grossed $3.2 million from 611 screens and currently has a 3.55 user rating on Yahoo Movies Japan. Both totals are higher than those of Oshii’s original film, which made $2.3 million in its opening weekend and holds a 3.2 rating on Yahoo Japan.

Meanwhile, in China, the film took in a $21.4 million opening, higher than the $20 million posted by ScarJo’s 2014 action film, “Lucy.”

Also Read: ‘Your Name,’ Anne Hathaway’s ‘Colossal’ Shine at Indie Box Office

But when you drill down into those numbers, it becomes clear that Asia won’t save “Ghost in the Shell” from finishing in the red for Paramount. In Japan, box office rankings are determined by admissions, not gross. By that scale, the film’s 233,000 admissions put it No. 3 in Japan behind Illumination’s “Sing,” which has dominated the Japanese box office for the past four weeks, and Disney’s “Moana.”

The fact that Paramount’s remake out-grossed the original’s opening also shows how, even in Japan, “Ghost in the Shell” is still a niche IP and has been so since its origin as a manga series first released by Shirow Masamune in 1989. When competing against behemoths like Disney, being niche is not something a studio wants its film to be.

Also Read: ‘The Fate of the Furious’ Review Roundup: Cars Crash and Burn, But This Sequel Doesn’t

With China and Japan’s opening now behind it, “Ghost in the Shell”‘s opening now stands at $92.8 million overseas and a mere $31.5 million in the States, where this past weekend it saw its $18.6 million opening take a 61 percent hit for a mere $7.3 million in its second frame. That puts its worldwide total at $124 million against a production budget of $110 million. With marketing costs factored in, box office analysts tell TheWrap that they estimate the film would have to make at least $250-275 million just to break even.

And that’s not going to happen. Starting this weekend, “The Fate of the Furious” will grab the attention of moviegoers around the world, with trackers expecting at least a $125 million domestic opening with a strong upside.

In Japan, “Fate” will arrive in theaters on April 28, and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will arrive in that market a week before then. Put that all together, and the window of salvation for “Ghost in the Shell” is about to slam shut.

Also Read: 4 Reasons Why ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Was A Box Office Malfunction, Despite Scarlett Johansson

“It looks like Paramount may just take a write-down on this and count on ‘Transformers’ to be its big 2017 blockbuster hit,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock. “That’s the one franchise Paramount has that they can count on to make a billion dollars.”

Indeed, the last two films in the “Transformers” series have made $1.1 billion worldwide, with the franchise’s fifth installment, “The Last Knight,” due out in theaters at the end of June and two more sequels ordered for Paramount’s slate.

If “Last Knight” can keep the trend going, Paramount’s losses from “Ghost in the Shell” will be short-lived.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Your Name,’ Anne Hathaway’s ‘Colossal’ Shine at Indie Box Office

‘Boss Baby’ Edges Out ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Again at Friday Box Office

China Pushes ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Past $500 Million at Worldwide Box Office

While Scarlett Johansson’s casting and dim reviews drowned “Ghost in the Shell” in negative publicity in the United States, the live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime film was much better received in the source material’s country-of-origin, Japan.

In its opening weekend across the Pacific, “Ghost in the Shell” grossed $3.2 million from 611 screens and currently has a 3.55 user rating on Yahoo Movies Japan. Both totals are higher than those of Oshii’s original film, which made $2.3 million in its opening weekend and holds a 3.2 rating on Yahoo Japan.

Meanwhile, in China, the film took in a $21.4 million opening, higher than the $20 million posted by ScarJo’s 2014 action film, “Lucy.”

But when you drill down into those numbers, it becomes clear that Asia won’t save “Ghost in the Shell” from finishing in the red for Paramount. In Japan, box office rankings are determined by admissions, not gross. By that scale, the film’s 233,000 admissions put it No. 3 in Japan behind Illumination’s “Sing,” which has dominated the Japanese box office for the past four weeks, and Disney’s “Moana.”

The fact that Paramount’s remake out-grossed the original’s opening also shows how, even in Japan, “Ghost in the Shell” is still a niche IP and has been so since its origin as a manga series first released by Shirow Masamune in 1989. When competing against behemoths like Disney, being niche is not something a studio wants its film to be.

With China and Japan’s opening now behind it, “Ghost in the Shell”‘s opening now stands at $92.8 million overseas and a mere $31.5 million in the States, where this past weekend it saw its $18.6 million opening take a 61 percent hit for a mere $7.3 million in its second frame. That puts its worldwide total at $124 million against a production budget of $110 million. With marketing costs factored in, box office analysts tell TheWrap that they estimate the film would have to make at least $250-275 million just to break even.

And that’s not going to happen. Starting this weekend, “The Fate of the Furious” will grab the attention of moviegoers around the world, with trackers expecting at least a $125 million domestic opening with a strong upside.

In Japan, “Fate” will arrive in theaters on April 28, and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will arrive in that market a week before then. Put that all together, and the window of salvation for “Ghost in the Shell” is about to slam shut.

“It looks like Paramount may just take a write-down on this and count on ‘Transformers’ to be its big 2017 blockbuster hit,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock. “That’s the one franchise Paramount has that they can count on to make a billion dollars.”

Indeed, the last two films in the “Transformers” series have made $1.1 billion worldwide, with the franchise’s fifth installment, “The Last Knight,” due out in theaters at the end of June and two more sequels ordered for Paramount’s slate.

If “Last Knight” can keep the trend going, Paramount’s losses from “Ghost in the Shell” will be short-lived.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Your Name,' Anne Hathaway's 'Colossal' Shine at Indie Box Office

'Boss Baby' Edges Out 'Beauty and the Beast' Again at Friday Box Office

China Pushes 'Kong: Skull Island' Past $500 Million at Worldwide Box Office

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Trailer Parody Lampoons the Film’s Controversial Reception — Watch

From the whitewashing controversy to its similarities to “The Matrix,” the clip features some of the most negative critical reactions to Rupert Sanders’ live-action adaptation.

Rupert Sanders’ “Ghost in the Shell” has gotten its share of controversy and poor reviews. Now, Paramount’s live-action adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s 1989 beloved manga has gotten the “Critics Are Raving” treatment.

READ MORE: ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Box Office Was Hurt by Whitewashing Controversy and Poor Reviews, Says Paramount Executive

From the whitewashing controversy ignited by the casting of Scarlett Johansson to play the lead in adaptation of the classic Japanese anime series, to the film’s similarities to “The Matrix,” the “Critics Are Raving” trailer by ScreenCrush gathers some of the most negative critical reactions to the film, which was released in theaters in the U.S. on March 31. The trailer features clips from the film’s previously released trailers.

READ MORE: 7 Classic Anime That Hollywood Should Remake After ‘Ghost in the Shell’ (And One That They Really Need to Leave Alone)

Shirow’s iconic manga series was adapted as an anime film in 1995 by Mamoru Oshii. In spite of its negative reviews, Paramount’s $110 million production has grossed a little over $124 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. Watch the “Critics Are Raving” trailer for “Ghost in the Shell” below.

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China Box Office: ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Enjoys Modest Weekend Win

“Ghost in the Shell” opened in China on top of the box office, but with the third weakest top score this year. It recorded $21.6 million from some 90,000 screenings per day, according to date from Chinese data service Ent Group. Paramount reported that as $21.4 million from 7,600 locations.) Of that total, 389 IMAX… Read more »

“Ghost in the Shell” opened in China on top of the box office, but with the third weakest top score this year. It recorded $21.6 million from some 90,000 screenings per day, according to date from Chinese data service Ent Group. Paramount reported that as $21.4 million from 7,600 locations.) Of that total, 389 IMAX... Read more »

‘Ghost In The Shell’ Rises To $93M Offshore; ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Tops $977M Global – International Box Office

Refresh for latest: In their 4th weekend at the worldwide ball, Beauty And The Beast waltzed to a global cume of $977.4M as the star-crossed couple is poised to cross $1B this week. A $36.1M overseas frame pushed the international box office on the Bill Condon-directed film to $545.1M. It also helped The Walt Disney Studios clock $1B+ in 2017 overseas receipts with $1.007B to date.
But, Belle and her prince dipped to No. 3 overall this session, trailing Ghost In The Shell…

Refresh for latest: In their 4th weekend at the worldwide ball, Beauty And The Beast waltzed to a global cume of $977.4M as the star-crossed couple is poised to cross $1B this week. A $36.1M overseas frame pushed the international box office on the Bill Condon-directed film to $545.1M. It also helped The Walt Disney Studios clock $1B+ in 2017 overseas receipts with $1.007B to date. But, Belle and her prince dipped to No. 3 overall this session, trailing Ghost In The Shell…

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Animation Project Gets Green Light at Japan’s Production IG

Japan’s leading cartoon firm Production I.G. has announced it is working on a new “Ghost in the Shell” anime project.

According to the production company’s website, the animation project will be co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama (“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” series) and Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed Alpha”).

The company did not give any further details, and it didn’t elaborate on whether the project will have a theatrical release or whether it will be a television series. The title and release date are yet to be announced.

Also Read: 4 Reasons Why ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Was A Box Office Malfunction, Despite Scarlett Johansson

The original comic book “Ghost in the Shell” was created by Shirow Masamune in 1989 and was first adapted into a same-title animated feature film in 1995 by Mamoru Oshii. In 2002, the franchise was expanded into a TV series: “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.” A second season, “Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig” aired in Japan and several other countries in the world. In 2004, Oshii directed “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.” The franchise has also launched video games, a novel and original video animations.

The announcement of a new anime project comes one week after Paramount’s “Ghost in the Shell” was released in theaters with a lackluster response from moviegoers.

Directed by Rupert Sanders, the film stars Scarlett Johansson and has taken in $74 million to date. It opens today in Japanese theaters.

Also Read: Scarlett Johansson Is ‘Lying’ About ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Whitewashing, Asian Group Says

Against a reported budget of $110 million, the film grossed $18.7 million its opening weekend, way below expectations.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Shoots to $1.8 Million at Thursday Box Office

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Review Roundup: Whitewashing Aside, Critics Love Scarlett Johansson

‘Boss Baby,’ ‘Ghost in the Shell’ to Battle ‘Beauty and the Beast’ This Weekend

Japan’s leading cartoon firm Production I.G. has announced it is working on a new “Ghost in the Shell” anime project.

According to the production company’s website, the animation project will be co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama (“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” series) and Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed Alpha”).

The company did not give any further details, and it didn’t elaborate on whether the project will have a theatrical release or whether it will be a television series. The title and release date are yet to be announced.

The original comic book “Ghost in the Shell” was created by Shirow Masamune in 1989 and was first adapted into a same-title animated feature film in 1995 by Mamoru Oshii. In 2002, the franchise was expanded into a TV series: “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.” A second season, “Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig” aired in Japan and several other countries in the world. In 2004, Oshii directed “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.” The franchise has also launched video games, a novel and original video animations.

The announcement of a new anime project comes one week after Paramount’s “Ghost in the Shell” was released in theaters with a lackluster response from moviegoers.

Directed by Rupert Sanders, the film stars Scarlett Johansson and has taken in $74 million to date. It opens today in Japanese theaters.

Against a reported budget of $110 million, the film grossed $18.7 million its opening weekend, way below expectations.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Ghost in the Shell' Shoots to $1.8 Million at Thursday Box Office

'Ghost in the Shell' Review Roundup: Whitewashing Aside, Critics Love Scarlett Johansson

'Boss Baby,' 'Ghost in the Shell' to Battle 'Beauty and the Beast' This Weekend

Japan’s Production I.G. Making New ‘Ghost In the Shell’ Anime

TOKYO – Not downhearted by the lackluster global response to Paramount’s live action adaptation of its cult animation, leading Japanese cartoon firm Production I.G. is to produce a new “Ghost In the Shell” anime. The directors are Kenji Kamiyama, who has worked on several installments of the “Ghost in the Shell” SF franchise, and Shinji… Read more »

TOKYO – Not downhearted by the lackluster global response to Paramount’s live action adaptation of its cult animation, leading Japanese cartoon firm Production I.G. is to produce a new “Ghost In the Shell” anime. The directors are Kenji Kamiyama, who has worked on several installments of the “Ghost in the Shell” SF franchise, and Shinji... Read more »

‘Ghost In The Shell’ Will Lose $60M+: Here’s Why

After vanishing in its opening weekend at the domestic box office to $18.6M, film finance sources tell Deadline that Paramount/DreamWorks-Reliance’s Ghost in the Shell stands to lose at least $60M, and that’s based off a global B.O. projection of $200M ($50M domestic, $150M) and combined P&A/ production costs of $250M. Some sources even assert that the production cost for Ghost is far north of $110M and more in the $180M range, and if that’s the case, Ghost is bleeding in…

After vanishing in its opening weekend at the domestic box office to $18.6M, film finance sources tell Deadline that Paramount/DreamWorks-Reliance’s Ghost in the Shell stands to lose at least $60M, and that’s based off a global B.O. projection of $200M ($50M domestic, $150M) and combined P&A/ production costs of $250M. Some sources even assert that the production cost for Ghost is far north of $110M and more in the $180M range, and if that’s the case, Ghost is bleeding in…

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Box Office Was Hurt by Whitewashing Controversy and Poor Reviews, Says Paramount Executive

The film opened in third place during its opening weekend, far below “The Boss Baby.”

Ghost in the Shell” opened to $19 million last weekend, less than half what “The Boss Baby” made over the same three days. The film received backlash for the better part of a year due to its casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, which Paramount executive Kyle Davies now admits played a part in the film’s disappointing financial take so far.

READ MORE: Why ‘The Boss Baby’ Trumped ‘Ghost in the Shell’ at the Box Office: Top 10 Takeaways

“We had hopes for better results domestically. I think the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews,” said Davies, Paramount’s domestic distribution chief. “You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie. So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience. That’s challenging, but clearly the reviews didn’t help.”

READ MORE: Will ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Be the Last Racially Insensitive Blockbuster? — Critics Survey

First published in 1989, Masamune Shirow’s beloved manga was previously adapted as an anime film in 1995; Johansson’s character had always been portrayed as Japanese before. Read Davies’ full interview here.

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Will ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Be the Last Racially Insensitive Blockbuster? — Critics Survey

Between the phenomenal success of “Get Out” and the failure of “Ghost in the Shell,” might Hollywood finally wise up?

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

Between the phenomenal success of “Get Out,” the imminent next chapter of the emphatically diverse “Fast and the Furious” franchise, and the recent failure of “Ghost in the Shell,” (among other examples), is there genuine reason to hope that racially insensitive blockbusters might soon become a thing of the past?

Vadim Rizov (@vrizov), Filmmaker Magazine

I think a lot about Bilge Ebiri’s 2013 piece on how the “Fast & Furious” franchise blew up by self-consciously becoming “diverse.” The short takeaway: Universal execs didn’t throw together a super-diverse cast out of the goodness of their progressive hearts, but out of a keen awareness that targeting multipole, oft-underserved demographics was a key, underexploited pathway to making much more money. It’s long been reported that there’s a big gap between onscreen representation and the audiences showing up: Latinos are the biggest moviegoers in the US, which you wouldn’t guess from the number (or lack thereof) of prominently cast Latinos onscreen.

So the examples cited are, sure, apposite, but what we’re really talking about here are two examples of black filmmakers breaking through plus one self-consciously “inclusive” blockbuster — hardly a monster wave, and anyone with a memory of how the late ’80s wave of black filmmakers ground to a halt after a while should be wary that non-white filmmakers are now, finally, about to become an integral part of the Hollywood apparatus, with attendant changes in onscreen diversity to follow; all it takes is one flop for the machine to change its mind (which is admittedly very stupid). So I’m sadly wary that we’re on the way to a more inclusive onscreen future.

READ MORE: ‘Ghost In The Shell’ Anime Director Defends Scarlett Johansson’s Casting

Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse), Freelance for Vulture, Nylon, the Guardian

While it would certainly be nice if Hollywood got its shit together and stopped casting white people in nonwhite roles, and while I agree that there have been tiny incremental decreases in that practice year by year, I fear it’ll be a long time until it become a complete thing of the past. You trace a positive trend through “Get Out,” “Moonlight,” and “Fastly Furious 8: Fambly Matters,” but we could just as easily draw a less heartening conclusion from a glance at the next few months. By the end of June, we’ll have a film in which Guatemalan-born Oscar Isaac plays Armenian, something called “How to Be a Latin Lover” (gulp) from my beloved Ken Marino, and loads of all-white studio projects.

Things are definitely better now than they were as recently as 2014, but until people of color have been installed in key decisionmaking positions, I fear a meaningful step forward will be impossible.

The Fate of the Furious Fast 8 Vin Diesel

“The Fate of the Furious”

Screenshot/Universal

Manuela Lazic (@ManiLazic), Freelance for Little White Lies, The Film Stage

In our frequent tearful and angry comments against the big monster that is Hollywood, we critics often fail to recognise this industry’s undeniable complexity. Somewhat simultaneously, progress seems always on the cusp of realisation, while signs of Hollywood’s backward ideas about race and identity continue to surface in countless new films, especially blockbusters. In theatres this weekend, a brave spectator — or one into cognitive dissonance — can have herself a double-bill of the ground-breaking “Get Out” and the whitewashed “Ghost in the Shell” remake. Hollywood is a messy place.

Nevertheless, “Moonlight”’s exhilarating critical triumph (with a gobsmacking twist ending on Oscars night) and “Get Out”’s massive commercial success recently may make “Ghost in the Shell” seem like an anomaly, a last misjudged attempt by Hollywood to pursue its long-held tradition of reappropriation and flattening out of racial difference in favour of the majority. It almost feels like real change is taking place, which can explain the vigorousness of the outcry against “Ghost.” Yet while evidently justified, this violent dismissal also risks making us forget about the similar and in fact not so distant scandal of “Doctor Strange,” which followed many others. Despite all the anger that these previous films generated, such attitudes evidently persist.

Hollywood nonetheless always tries to give its audience what it wants, if only because this strategy makes economical sense. And this explains the very existence of a “Ghost in the Shell” remake: the original regained popularity in recent years by becoming more available to Occidental spectators and thanks to the surge of interest in anime. But as the casting of Scarlett Johansson blatantly reveals, Hollywood is a clumsy pleaser. It is willing to tap into different stories, but cannot fully commit to their specificity. In some cases, as with the casting of Tilda Swinton as “the Ancient One” in “Doctor Strange,” traces of Orientalism even emerge, where Asian cultures are not only populated with white people, but also made to look inaccessible, exotic, magical and even dangerous.

Perhaps the solution to Hollywood’s racial problem lies in this very desire to please: critics, and social media users in general, might have the power to guide the big studios on their tedious path to sensitive representation. Through trial and error — that is, unsatisfying attempts at diversity in films, then virulent attacks by spectators in the press and the media- the industry might eventually understand what is so wrong about itself, and finally deliver consistently racially conscious movies. Until then, we shall stay mad.

Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko) Pajiba/Nerdist/CBR

Man, I wish. And not just because I’m an alleged and unrepentant SJW, but also because wouldn’t it be amazing if films as original, challenging, and riveting as “Moonlight” and “Get Out” became the standard and not the exception?

Personally, I’m hopeful that the success of these films — as well as the box office success of “Hidden Figures”— will prove to Hollywood once and for all that white-straight-male need not be the default setting for any given story. And I expect we’ll start to see a shift toward more Black actors getting lead roles, instead of the parade of blandsome white ingendudes of which Hollywood seems to have an endless supply. But I’m doubtful the success of these movies will impact Hollywood’s loathsome tradition of Asian erasure, as Asians and Asian-Americans are all too often left out of the race and representation conversation.

It all comes from Hollywood believing only white heroes (often white men) sell movies globally (which is bunk). Yet, this year alone we saw examples of Asian erasure in “The Great Wall,” “Iron Fist,” and “Ghost in the Shell.” While not all are clear examples of white washing, each is a story that relishes in an Asian culture, while centering on a White protagonist. And that reduces Asian people to set dressing, even within their own stories. What needs to happen for this kind to change is not only the failure of such properties, but also the success of ones that dare to recognize Asian and Asian-American stars as more than cameos that’ll help bolster overseas sales. We’ll know a sea change is actually happening there when Asian/Asian-American women can front a story that doesn’t involve martial arts, or when an Asian/Asian-American man can be cast as the lead in a romantic-comedy. Because — as Jack Choi pointed out last year — allowing an actor to be seen as a sex symbol is a crucial step in making him a star.

Here’s hoping someone soon will finally realize the untapped potential of the internet’s crush John Cho, or that some clever producer will run with the swoons Dev Patel has stirred from his surfer-bro “Lion” look. Because here is the rare case where objectification could actually help in representation.

Jordan Peele Get Out

“Get Out”

Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow), The New Yorker

The “Fast and Furious” franchise has a diverse cast; so do the most recent “Star Wars” entries, and so does “Captain America: Civil War”; and these films’ successes have hardly ushered in a new era in empathy and justice. Or, rather, unfortunately, not at all. Big-budget, mass-market films are effects, not causes. The commercial success of these movies with diverse casts and the failure of “Ghost in the Shell” may give studio executives the hint they need. On the other hand, “Life” was a failure, too (the capital letter matters). On the third hand, one of the things that makes “Get Out” a great movie is its depiction of racial identity as a matter of historical consciousness and personal experience.

Tentpole movies don’t offer much of either — for people of any ethnicity; the amount of human experience that filters into these films is pretty slender overall. That’s why the diversity of casts needs to be joined by diversity behind the camera — executives, producers, directors, screenwriters; otherwise, the diverse casts (though important in themselves, as opportunities for the actors) will have little effect on the films’ substance.

Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic), Nonfics, Film School Rejects

The sad thing is that “Ghost in the Shell”s disappointing box office may not be seen as the result of the casting controversy, and maybe it is not entirely. But we’ve seen so many movies that have had similar issues, including “Gods of Egypt” and “The Great Wall,” unable to financially back up the offenses in terms of being what audiences want, that it has to be getting to Hollywood. Unless they see the success of films like “Get Out” and “Fast and the Furious” being enough to counter the films deemed insensitive, like “Ghost in the Shell,” which is a box office failure, and Doctor Strange, which is not. And they may be doing well enough outside America where the controversies don’t alway carry over, that they don’t care. Maybe the only way to tell if anything was learned with “Ghost in the Shell” is to see what happens with “Akira.”

Tasha Robinson (@TashaRobinson), The Verge

I don’t think we’re ever likely to be entirely rid of tone-deaf adaptations, for the same reason we’ll never be rid of bloated blockbuster sequels or dumbed-down copycats of hit movies: at least half of Hollywood is always chasing what looks like the safest payday, by trying to plug “bankable” stars into everything, regardless of appropriateness or optics. What the success of films like “Get Out” and “Hidden Figures” gets us that I find heartening is a new set of profitable stars. There’s always going to be some clueless money-minded Hollywood exec pushing Tom Cruise or Matt Damon for the lead role in a President Obama biopic, because “Their films make money, and making money is what’s important.” But as actors like Michael B. Jordan, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, and Mahershala Ali gain more cachet as Hollywood moneymakers, we’re more likely to see their names come up in conversation. The success of films like “Get Out” and “Hidden Figures” — or, on another scale entirely, the admirably diversity-minded “Star Wars: Rogue One” — isn’t just a boon for people who want to see themselves reflected onscreen, and it isn’t just a boon for people who want to point to “diverse” films and say they make money and have an audience. It’s also a boon for producers and directors and casting agents who want to widen their net, and need to be able to point to past successes when they’re pitching future projects. The more “bankable” stars of color we have, the less likely we are to live in a world where Scarlett Johansson is seen as the only possible star for an action film about a tough woman, regardless of that woman’s race.

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