Netflix has teamed up with Tsuburaya Productions to create a computer-animated movie based on Ultraman, the same subject of its relatively new anime series. Netflix’s effort may bring Ultraman to a global audience, building upon its decades of popularity in Japan. The company notes that its movie will introduce a new storyline and a new character.
Ultraman was introduced to audiences in 1966 by Tsuburaya Productions. A number of sequels followed the original series over the decades, and the Ultraman universe became iconic in Japan and a number of other countries, though it remains relatively unknown outside of Asia. Netflix’s efforts may change that.
In 2019, Netflix released the first season of its Ultraman anime series and despite the time that has passed, it has a second season planned. Joining the anime will be a feature-length movie, according to Netflix, which announced the new project on Twitter.
Tsuburaya Productions has released a description of the upcoming movie, stating that baseball star Ken Sato will return to Japan to resume his work as Ultraman, but things won’t go quite as expected. Ultraman will end up raising a newborn Kaiju, the offspring “of his greatest foe,” forcing him to reckon with fatherhood and his relationship with his own father.
Shannon Tindle has been tapped to direct the CG movie, while Marc Haimes is serving as writer. Industrial Light and Magic will be behind the animation, while Netflix will release it to its global audience — though the company hasn’t yet revealed when the movie will premiere.