One of the legendary old-school Japanese heroes is gearing up for a new introduction to modern-day fans. Netflix has stepped in to relaunch Ultraman- the legendary franchise that influenced superhero stories from the Power Rangers to Ant-Man and new concepts that reveal plans for a new animated feature film that will tell the original Ultraman story including all the kaiju monsters. It’s believed that the film will be made as a CG-animated film in partnership with the original franchise owner Tsuburaya Productions and ILM. The feature is conceived as a plan of introducing the iconic series to a new broader audience. Ultraman dates back decades to post WWII Japan, framing its red-suited and silver-skinned hero as a speechless force of nature who sides with humanity to fight both humanoid and monstrous threats just like Godzilla.
The film will be helmed by Shannon Tindle and co-directed by John Aoshima, who prior worked on Disney’s Gravity Falls. Also, Tindle has a diverse and vast background in animations, having worked on unique animated features such as Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Kubo and the Two Strings, Lost Ollie, and Coraline. The first season of the series premiered globally on Netflix on April 1st, 2019, and the second season is set to premiere by 2021. Though the complete cast and release date hasn’t been officially confirmed, Netflix’s aiming for a mix of Western and Japanese stars for the film’s key roles. Ultraman has failed to be a household name outside Japan despite leaving a massive impact on popular culture, but Netflix hopes to change this. Ultraman has remained constantly popular and profitable in Asian markets, but its popularity in America has flowed and ebbed through the years. This new project loos to include a recent uptick in western studio interests in all things Ultraman.
Celebrating the anniversary of Ultraman
To celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Ultra Series, Toho Pictures will be releasing a Shin Ultraman movie that features a reimagining of the iconic hero. The film is set to release in Japan in 2021, and fans can’t wait to see what the story will be all about. To assist in celebrating this huge event, threezero is bringing the new updated version of Shin Ultraman to life with the new FlgZero S figure. It is a modern set of highly detailed and articulated figures from threezero at a smaller size. What’s more, Ultraman comes loaded with incredible detail and will come with four pairs of interchangeable hands and 30 points of articulation. The figure will go for $49.99 and is set to release in the 4th quarter of 2021.
In addition, the rise of the Ultraman collection is coming on Blu-Ray in July. The set features nine episodes from the original series, English dubs, an episode guide, a collectible booklet, and a 5-part bonus feature, ‘Secrets of the Rise of Ultraman’ from Starlight Runner Productions and Marvel Comics. The Secrets of The Rise of Ultraman Collection Blu-ray will be solely sold on DeepDiscount.com as an initiative of the launch of the dedicated Ultraman storefront that will provide all Mill Creek Entertainment’s current SteelBook/Blu-ray releases. The storefront will also include Ultraman-related products and merchandise.
Mill Creek Entertainment is also expected to release 1979 The Ultraman animated series on DVD on September 14th, alongside a premiere of the 1980 Ultraman 80 live-action series on DVD. The 50-episode series was the first animated series in the Ultraman franchise and was directed by Takayuki Kanda, Hisayuki Toriumi, and Tsuburaya Productions.
Ultraman is an alien from a place known as the Land of Light in Nebula M78. He chased the monster Bemular to Earth and joined forces with Shin Hayata while on Earth. He is the first ultra to visit planet Earth and help defend it against Kaiju until he was recalled. The name Ultraman comes from his human host, and it’s his character that has popularized the Ultraman Franchise in Japan and the rest of the world.
The new Netflix film aims to honor the past mythology while at the same time introducing the Ultraman character to a new potential global fanbase. The new movie tells the story of the Japanese baseball star Ken Sato, the latest human ascendant to Ultraman’s role. His ambitions are derailed when he is forced to raise a newborn kaiju monster- the child of his greatest foe- as his own. The story follows Sato as he tries to balance the role of a new father and teammate while confronting his ego, estranged father, and the conniving Kaiju Defense Force. He must rise and find out what it truly means to be Ultraman.
With the new twists in the new movie, the Ultraman franchise may get a new global audience through Netflix.