Ultraman is back.
The character, created by Eiji Tsuburaya in 1966 with the “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” television series, is back in a brand-new animated feature called “Ultraman Rising.” It’s due out next year but you can watch the trailer above.
In “Ultraman Rising,” baseball superstar Ken Sato, the new Ultraman, “quickly finds more than he bargained for as he’s forced to raise the offspring of his greatest foe,” according to the official synopsis. The trailer shows him battling a huge monster and then effectively adopting the monster’s child, which puts him at odds with his persona as creature-slaying titan. There’s a wonderful moment in the trailer where Ken shrinks down to his human size but the baby still towers above him.
The voice cast for the animated feature includes Christpher Sean, Gedde Watanabe, Tamlyn Tomita, Keone Young and Julia Harriman. Shannon Tindle, creator of Netflix’s fantastic “Lost Ollie,” co-wrote and directed “Ultraman Rising.” John Aoshima, a director on “Gravity Falls” and “DuckTales,” serves as co-director, with Marc Haimes co-writing the screenplay. Tom Knott and Lisa M. Poole are the producers.
Animation was handled by Industrial Light & Magic, the groundbreaking visual effects studio founded by George Lucas for the production of the first “Star Wars” movie. It’s their first fully animated feature since Lucas’ 2015 passion project “Strange Magic.” The only other feature they had completely animated was 2011’s “Rango,” directed by Gore Verbinski, which won the Best Animated Feature Oscar. (It beat “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Puss in Boots.”)
“Ultraman Rising” looks to re-introduce the character to the West, and the trailer suggests that it will be a fun and engaging return. In Japan, the character had generated sales of more than $7.4 billion between 1966 and 1987 and has appeared in countless television series, movies, comic books, video games and novels.
“Ultraman Rising” will debut on Netflix in 2024.
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