Ultraman is getting ready for his big comeback. It's been announced that Studio Khara has partnered with Toho Co. for Shin Ultraman, a brand new live-action movie that will reimagine that long-standing Japanese superhero for the modern age. Director Shinji Higuchi and writer Hideaki Anno, the team behind 2016's Shin Godzilla, are on board to bring the project to life, which could be very good news for the franchise, considering how well that movie was received. In any event, get ready for an Ultraman reboot in the not-too-distant future.
According to an announcement made by the companies, Shin Ultraman will arrive in theaters in 2021. No specific release date has been announced at this time. Shinji Higuchi will serve as director, with Hideaki Anno penning the screenplay. A draft of the script is said to have already been turned in as of February. Unfortunately, at present, no specific story details have been made available. Though, roughly translated, the title means "New Ultraman," so we're guessing the implication here is that they're taking the property in a new direction. Whatever the case, it's hard to imagine a team more fit for the job.
Hideaki Anno is best known for his beloved and respected anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. That series, coincidentally, was recently made available on Netflix, which means many people have been discovering it for the first time. So the timing is pretty solid in that way. Speaking of Netflix, they also recently released an Ultraman anime series, which was received quite well following its debut in April. The streaming service already has a second season on the way. As for Shinji Higuchi, his work on Shin Godzilla speaks for itself, as it's generally considered to be one of the finest movies produced in the long-running franchise for a very long time, if not ever. These two seem more than equipped to tackle this particular reboot.
Ultraman dates back more than 50 years. The character first appeared in a Japanese TV series that aired from 1966 to 1967. In the years since, the character has been featured in a number of different shows, movies and even video games. In total, Ultraman has appeared in more than 20 movies and 30 TV shows. Outside of the on screen appearances, the character has generated billions in merchandising revenue over the decades, largely thanks to his popularity outside of the United States. Specifically, in Asia. Point being, with the reboot-happy nature of the business these days, a new Ultraman movie makes every bit of sense.
According to the announcement, Hideaki Anno will turn his attention toward Shin Ultraman once work is finished on his new Evangelion movie, which is scheduled to arrive in June 2020. Studio Khara will handle production, while Toho will manage distribution. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by Anime News Network.