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Ultraman: Netflix Partners With Tsuburaya Productions for Japanese Superhero Film

Netflix is collaborating with Japanese production house Tsuburaya Productions for a superhero film called Ultraman, the streaming giant announced on Friday. The animated feature film with Computer-Generated Imagery will be based on the Japanese anime superhero by the same name.


According to Netflix’s synopsis, baseball superstar Ken Sato returns to his home country of Japan to pick up the mantle of Earth-defending superhero Ultraman, but quickly finds more than he bargained for when he’s forced to raise the offspring of his greatest foe, a newborn Kaiju (Japanese term for giant monsters). Struggling to balance the roles of teammate and new father, Ken must confront his own ego, his estranged father, and the conniving Kaiju Defense Force to rise up and discover what it truly means to be Ultraman.

The film will be written and directed by Shannon Tindle, who called it a “dream come true”.

“Making this film is a dream come true. 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,” Tindle said in a statement.

CEO and chairperson of Tsuburaya Productions Takayuki Tsukagoshi said in a statement, “He [Shannon] was greatly influenced by Ultraman as a child, and he grew up to become a creator himself.”

Ultraman or the Ultra Series is a long-running franchise created and produced by Tsuburaya Productions.

It first released in 1966 under the name Ultra Q and Ultraman and was one of the first to bring live-action film using special effects to the Japanese small screen. One of the biggest contributors, according to a fandom page, was Eiji Tsuburaya whose banner company managed the show for decades.


While many standalone sequels followed, the Ultraman Series had its first anime series, by the same name, in 1979. In 2019 the Ultraman anime was made available on Netflix to expand the series worldwide. The anime series is currently in its second season.

The franchise has also been adapted into films and dubbed into several languages.

Tsukagoshi added, “Ultraman was born in Japan 55 years ago. This partnership with Netflix will be the first full-scale endeavor to reach the global market for Tsuburaya Productions. Ultraman, since it was created, has charmed many people around the world.”

Ultraman will be co-written by Marc Haimes, co-directed by John Aoshima, and co-produced by Lisa Poole under the banners Tsuburaya Productions, and Industrial Light and Magic.