Famed Japanese director Hideaki Anno, best known for directing the highly-influential Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series in 1995-1996, will be working on a new project: Shin Ultraman.
Anno will serve as the film’s screenwriter and producer, while Shinji Higuchi will direct it. The two also worked on 2016’s Shin Godzilla. “Shin” here roughly translates to “resurgence,” so much like how Shin Godzilla was a fresh spin on the Godzilla franchise, Shin Ultraman will hopefully do the same for Ultraman.
The movie will be a loose adaptation of the original Japanese live-action series from 1966 to 1967. The show was largely aimed at children, using special effects of the time to show goofy-yet-charming fights between alien monsters and the titular hero, Ultraman. While there are surface-level comparisons to be made between the show and Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s premise, the show remains largely lighthearted, very much unlike Evangelion‘s trajectory.
While there’s a chance Anno and Higuchi may use this opportunity to make a darker rendition of the series, it should be noted that Shin Godzilla remained a fairly faithful return to the kaiju’s roots, and with the similar naming convention of Shin Ultraman, it’s not unreasonable to expect a similar style of adaptation.
For Evangelion fans, don’t worry; Anno will finish the highly anticipated fourth and final entry in the Rebuild of Evangelion film tetralogy, Neon Genesis Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0, before shifting focus to Shin Ultraman.
Neon Genesis Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 is planned for Japanese theatrical release in 2020, while Shin Ultraman will release in theaters in 2021. As of now, there is no word on localization for Western audiences of either movie, but the previous Rebuild of Evangelion movies and Shin Godzilla were eventually localized.
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