Hideaki Anno, the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion and co-director of Shin Godzilla, is producing a new theatrical Ultraman film. Ultraman has remained one of Japan's biggest franchises, and its latest show premiered last month.
The first Ultraman show premiered in 1966. It followed a giant alien who inhabits the body of a human. Together with a group called the Science Patrol, they fight against evil monsters and aliens that threaten the Earth. Created by Eiji Tsuburaya (the man who helped bring Godzilla to life), Ultraman instantly became a success and inspired countless sequel shows, movies, collectibles, and more. Unfortunately, Ultraman's presence in the North American market has been minimal, outside streaming and a few DVD releases. This is starting to change. Recently, Mill Creek Entertainment announced it would be bringing nearly the entire Ultraman library to North America. Also, Tsuburaya Productions is premiering a YouTube exclusive Ultraman show in both Japanese and English. There's also the Ultraman anime on Netflix. Clearly, Ultraman is beginning to find huge popularity on the other side of the Pacific. The new film could propel the franchise even further.
Tsuburaya Productions announced a new Ultraman movie titled, "Shin Ultraman" It is on its way for release in 2021. Hikieda Anno of Evangelion fame is producing and writing the screenplay. Shinji Higuchi, who directed Shin Godzilla along with Anno, is directing Shin Ultraman. According to the studio, the film is an adaption of the original 1966 show.
An opening to a new page of the History of ULTRAMAN is underway!— 円谷プロダクション (@tsuburayaprod) July 31, 2019
“SHIN ULTRAMAN”, a dawning of a brand new entertainment presented for everyone around the world has just began!https://t.co/QfB2VqABqN pic.twitter.com/gYMrVQhubR
The three main stars confirmed are Masami Nagasawa, Takumi Saito, and Hidetoshi Nishijima Nagasawa is no stranger to the kaiju genre, having appeared as one of Mothra's fairies in Godzilla: Tokyo SOS and Godzilla: Final Wars. Saito has appeared in Shin Godzilla. Nishijima provided the voice for Pikachu in the Japanese dub for Detective Pikachu. TOHO Studios will handle distribution of the film. Based on the announcement, it seems like Shin Ultraman could have worldwide distribution. According to Studio Khara, Anno will completely join Shin Ultraman after completing the fourth film in the Rebuild of Evangelion series, which is scheduled to release next year.
Shin Ultraman is certainly a big deal for fans. Although Ultraman has been receiving steady movies for the past four years, all of them were based on their respective shows. Shin Ultraman is the first original Ultraman movie since Ultraman: The Next in 2004. The fact that it's going to be adapting the original show is another important point of discussion. Will it feature the same Science Patrol characters, and use kaiju from the show? Since Anno is involved, it's likely he will inject some of his deep storytelling. The movie is a bit far off, but hopefully information will start to sprinkle in sooner than later.
Shin Ultraman will be released in 2021.