Netflix’s ULTRAMAN: RISING Animated Film Sets Release Date and Shares New Images

Japan’s biggest superhero, Ultraman, continues its march toward global domination. A few years ago, Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman series broke into the North American market in a massive way. Blu-ray and streaming distribution of their 55-year-old franchise; a new Marvel Comics series; an English dub of the CG-anime series based on manga. In 2021, we got the premiere of Shin Ultraman, a live-action film from the makers of Shin Godzilla. And, Tsuburaya announced a brand new CG-animated feature film for Netflix. One that has yet a different story from the ongoing Ultra live-action series, the Netflix anime series, the Marvel Comics, and Shin Ultraman. Ultraman: Rising will hit the streaming service on June 14 and we have new images to accompany that release date.

A full trailer will surely come soon but, for now, this Ultraman: Rising teaser does the job:

Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes, a storyboard artist and writer, respectively, on Kubo and the Two Strings, will write the film. Tindle, who is also a longtime character designer for animation, will co-direct Ultraman: Rising with John Aoshima. Aoshima also worked on Kubo and has directed episodes of Gravity Falls and  DuckTales among others. Some pretty good talent.

A CG-animated image of Ultraman from below, emitting his trademark spacium beam.

Netflix/Tsuburaya Productions

The official synopsis for the movie is as follows:

With Tokyo under siege from rising monster attacks, baseball star Ken Sato reluctantly returns home to take on the mantle of Ultraman. But the titanic superhero meets his match when he is forced to adopt a 35-foot-tall, fire-breathing baby kaiju. Sato must rise above his ego to balance work and parenthood while protecting the baby from forces bent on exploiting her for their own dark plans. In partnership with Netflix, Tsuburaya Productions, and Industrial Light & Magic, Ultraman: Rising is written by Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes, directed by Shannon Tindle, and co-directed by John Aoshima.

In all the iterations of Ultraman over the years, I don’t believe any of them have starred a pro baseball player. So that’s new. The theme of fatherhood has appeared throughout the series, most recently Ultraman Z which aired in 2020. However, never before has an Ultraman had to raise a baby kaiju. That’s, I’m gonna say it: weird.

“Making this film is a dream come true,” said Tindle in a statement. “What began as an original story inspired by my love for Eiji Tsuburaya’s Ultraman somehow became an actual Ultraman film thanks to the incredible trust of the team at Tsuburaya Productions, and the support of the folks at Netflix Animation. We’ve assembled an all-star team and I can’t wait to share our unique take on Ultraman with the rest of the world.”

Ultraman preparing to blast a kaiju.

Tsuburaya Productions

Ultraman began in 1966, a follow-up to Tsuburaya’s Ultra Q. With the intent to bring Tsuburaya’s landmark model and suitmation work in the Godzilla films to television, Ultraman was a full-color explosion of monsters and mayhem. In 2020, select Ultra series began streaming on TokuSHOUTsu while Blu-ray releases hit shelves from Mill Creek.

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

Originally published on May 13, 2021.

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