Streamer and Skydance announce deal to produce epic sci-fi franchise’s first animated TV adaptation; animation to be produced by Production I.G.
In an announcement with few details but lots of promise, Netflix and Skydance are partnering on the production of a new anime series based on the epic and hugely successful Terminator sci-fi franchise.
The series is being produced and animated in partnership with Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, B: The Beginning) who Netflix has had a Production Line Deal with since 2018. Mattson Tomlin (Project Power, The Batman) will serve as showrunner and executive producer.
“Anyone who knows my writing knows I believe in taking big swings and going for the heart,” Tomlin said. “I'm honored that Netflix and Skydance have given me the opportunity to approach Terminator in a way that breaks conventions, subverts expectations and has real guts.”
According to John Derderian, Netflix, Vice President of Japan & Anime, “Terminator is one of the most iconic sci-fi stories ever created--and has only grown more relevant to our world over time. 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.”
Production I.G. President and CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa added, “I asked my long-time friend and colleague Mamoru Oshii what he thought about the idea of turning Terminator into an animated series. His response was ‘Ishikawa, are you out of your mind?’ At that instant, I was confident we should get onboard. As huge fans, our team at Production I.G is putting their heart and souls into creating this series. We hope fans will enjoy it!”
Skydance produced the last two features in the franchise: Terminator: Dark Fate and Terminator: Genisys; combined, the six Terminator features have generated more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office.
Earlier this month, Netflix announced the March 25 release of DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, a new anime series based on Valve’s popular DOTA 2 video-game franchise. The multiplayer online battle arena, or ‘MOBA’ game, is one of the most popular of its kind, rivaling Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends, and Legends of the Storm. They also shared the official trailer for Pacific Rim: The Black, their new anime series from Legendary Television, which will premiere worldwide March 4, 2021. Based on Legendary Entertainment and Guillermo del Toro’s blockbuster Pacific Rim film franchise, the Netflix Original Anime Series continues the tale of epic battles between monsters and robots, with an exciting new animation style produced by Polygon Pictures, known for the Netflix Original Anime Series Levius, the Ajin: Demi-Human series, and the Godzilla Netflix Original Anime Movie Trilogy.
This came on the heels of their announcement late last month, also with Legendary Television, of two new anime series in development based on Legendary’s Skull Island, part of its Monsterverse franchise, and Square Enix’s hugely popular Tomb Raider global game franchise.
This past October, Netflix’s growing commitment to anime took center stage with their Netflix Anime Festival 2020, where they livestreamed announcements of five new projects, bringing the streaming giant’s upcoming anime show slate to 16 (at that time – we aren’t sure how many have since been added). The five newly announced projects - Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, Thermae Romae Novae, High-Rise Invasion, Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan and The Way of the Househusband – came on the heels of Netflix’s previous announcement of new production line partnerships with Asian anime studios ANIMA & COMPANY, owner of NAZ, Science SARU and MAPPA from Japan, and Studio Mir in Korea, bringing their anime studio partnership number to nine.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.