Netflix has announced that it will be bringing classic Japanese hero Ultraman back to life in an upcoming CG-animated feature film. The upcoming movie, however, is going to make things even more interesting than in previous reimaginings of the original tale. Here’s the synopsis from the official press release:
Baseball superstar Ken Sato returns to his home country of Japan to pick up the mantle of Earth-defending superhero Ultraman, but quickly finds more than he bargained for when he’s forced to raise the offspring of his greatest foe, a newborn Kaiju. Struggling to balance the roles of teammate and new father, Ken must confront his own ego, his estranged father, and the conniving Kaiju Defense Force to rise up and discover what it truly means to be Ultraman.
This isn’t the first time Netflix will be rebooting the Ultraman story. They did something similar in the spring of 2019 when they released an animated continuation of the original Japanese Ultraman: A Special Effects Fantasy Series live-action show from 1965. The 2019 series consists of 13 episodes and is still available to watch on Netflix right now. It’s available in traditional Japanese audio with English subtitles, or English dubbing (among other languages).
The original Ultraman story revolves around a Japanese member of a special defense force who gains the ability to transform into a giant robot and battle large, skyscraper-sized monsters (often referred to as “kaiju” in Japanese and among anime fans) in order to protect mankind. The Netflix animated series added its own twist to the original narrative by taking away the protagonist’s ability to become super-sized, but still equipped him with enough skills to effectively neutralize his foes.
Shannon Tindle will be writing the screenplay and directing the film. She’ll be joined by co-director John Aoshima (Gravity Falls, American Dad) and co-writer Marc Haimes (Kubo and the Two Strings). Tsuburaya Productions will be teaming up with Industrial Light and Magic in order to bring Tindle‘s dream into reality.
“Making this film is a dream come true,” said Tindle in a statement. “What began as an original story inspired by my love for Eiji Tsuburaya‘s Ultraman somehow became an actual Ultraman film thanks to the incredible trust of the team at Tsuburaya Productions, and the support of the folks at Netflix Animation. We’ve assembled an all-star team and I can’t wait to share our unique take on Ultraman with the rest of the world.”
Netflix has not yet announced a release date for the film.