We’re throwing it back older than old-school! One of the most classic Japanese heroes will finally be reintroduced to the modern-day world of anime: Ultraman! It’s been said that this franchise alone has sparked the inspiration for many heroes of the modern age like Ant-Man and even the Power Rangers. Netflix, thankfully, is strapping on the seatbelts for a reinvention of the Ultraman story––one that includes new animation and even more kaiju beat-ups!
What is Ultraman all about?
Just like Japan’s cultural icon in Godzilla (and fellow sci-fi star), Ultraman‘s origin dates back to post-WWII in Japan––wearing a skin-tight silver-and-red suit whose main motive is to save the planet against monstrous and human threats.
In a fancier group of words, the release of Netflix’s Ultraman praises the history of the mythology while reintroducing the cultural icon to a new global fanbase. The story revolves around Ken Sato, a Japanese baseball star and the latest human ascendant to the Ultraman role. Though Sato lives a wrecked life, he now raises a newborn kaiju monster. To make matters worse, it’s an offspring of his nemesis––all the while managing through his normal family life and the sinful Kaiju Defense Force.
Listen Netflix, if you are still in need for more ideas for another Ultraman movie, you got my email pic.twitter.com/qHJXwA0HxA
— Pablo Leon (@ArtsyPabster) May 14, 2021
Who are attached to the Ultraman project?
The CG-animated film will be made in partnership with the original franchise owner, Tsuburaya Productions, and ILM. The combination of the old and the modern––a schematic plan to introduce the series to a far wider audience than before, maybe one that will receive the story and the animation with open arms.
My guy stopped by to celebrate the announcement. pic.twitter.com/N3SDXKL1qq
— Shannon Tindle (@ShannonTindle_1) May 13, 2021
The streaming giant’s revival of the series is being co-helmed by Gravity Falls‘ very own John Aoshima and first-time director in Shannon Tindle. Alongside Tindle, Marc Haimes has co-written the script. There’s a lot to expect with this project animation-wise since this is the first time audiences will be seeing a CGI-powered Ultraman.
As for the cast, no specific castings have been announced. However, Netflix has hinted that they’re aiming for a combination of Japanese and western talent for the movie’s stars.
What is the history of Ultraman in the United States?
Obviously, projects and stories like these are well-received in Asian markets. However, its popularity and opportunity for profit haven’t been as impressive in the United States. In fact, it’s seen as more of a niche among anime lovers and superhero fanatics. Recently, though, there’s been a new project that has sparked, yet again, the interest of the Japanese icon in the Western setting with the streaming giant’s showing of the original Ultraman TV series. Marvel, one of, if not, the biggest movie franchises in the world, has teamed up with Tsuburaya Productions for The Rise of Ultraman––a five-issue limited comics series that debuted in 2020.