Netflix announced that it cooperates with Tsuburaya Productions to make a new CG Ultraman movie, hoping to bring the popular Japanese character to an even wider global audience. Ultraman has never been a household name outside of Japan, despite leaving a huge impression about popular culture – the original Ultraman series popularized the genre “giant man in suits fights people dressed as monsters in a model city” – but Netflix hopes to change that.
The new CG Ultraman film, in addition to leaving the franchise’s original live action format, will feature a different version of the character and what sounds like a somewhat unusual plot setup – Ultraman has undergone “dadification.” Per Tsuburaya Productions’ synopsis:
Baseball superstar Ken Sato returns to his home country of Japan to pick up the mantle of the Earth-defending superhero Ultraman, but quickly finds more than he bargained for when forced to raise the offspring of his greatest enemy, a newborn Kaiju. Having struggled to balance the roles of teammate and new father, Ken must face his own ego, his estranged father and the conniving Kaiju Defense Force to discover what it really means to be. Ultraman.
The film will be directed by Shannon Tindle and co-directed by John Aoshima, who previously worked on Disney’s Gravity falls. Tindle’s background in animation is diverse as she has worked in traditional 2D animation as a character designer Foster’s Home for imaginary friends, and stop motion animation as the maker from Laikas Kubo and the two strings and a character designer / animator Coraline. Tindle is also currently the showrunner of the Netflix animated series Ollie lost.
Tsuburuaya Productions CEO Takayuki Tsukagoshi describes the new film project as “the first full-scale attempt to reach the global market for Tsuburaya Productions,” and with Netflix’s over 200 million subscribers, there’s a good chance that someone will find out they’re a huge Ultraman fan after watching. of this movie.
That’s great for Netflix because it already has a Ultraman anime series it can point people to, with a second season in the works. That’s all part of the streaming service’s bigger push into the anime space, right while the competition is really heating up. Dropped a new one Ultraman movie can be great for the character, but in the end it’s even better for Netflix’s ongoing goal of being your sole source of entertainment.