Netflix is doubling down on popular Japanese superhero IP Ultraman with a new CG-animated feature film from the brand’s owner, Tsuburaya Productions.
Ultraman is about a group of superheroes who defend the earth from giant monsters. The new feature, which will be produced by Tsuburaya and Industrial Light Magic, centers around a baseball star who returns to Japan to take up the Ultraman mantle, but quickly learns that being a superhero is harder than he thought. A release date has not been announced yet.
Shannon Tindle (Kubo and the Two Strings) and John Aoshima will co-direct the film, with Tindle and Marc Haimes writing the script. Tom Knott is attached as producer, along with Lisa Poole. Overseeing the project for Netflix is Aram Yacoubian, director of original animated film. He took on this new role in September 2020, having previously served as director of original content.
Netflix already airs the Ultraman anime series, which it picked up from Japanese studios Production I.G and Sola Digital Arts in 2019. This 13 x 20-minute iteration features a high school kid who discovers he is one of the few people who can wear the powerful Ultra Suit. Netflix renewed the anime title for a second season that will roll out in Q4 2021.
The Ultraman series has consistently been one of the most popular shows in Japan’s SVOD market, according to Parrot Analytics. It was ranked as the region’s 11th most in-demand digital original series in Q1 2019. And demand (measured through streams, chatter and downloads) for Ultraman in the last 30 days is 12 times higher than demand for the average series.