According to announcements by Khara, Inc. (the studio behind Neon Genesis Evangelion) and Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. (the studio behind the Ultra series which includes Ultraman), a new feature film tentatively called 「シン・ウルトラマン」"Shin Ultraman" (New Ultraman) is now in the works.

Hideaki Anno, famed director of the seminal anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, will both write the screenplay and produce the film, and Shinji Higuchi of Higuchi-Gumi will direct it. As many fans know, the two have already teamed up before with 2016's "Shin Godzilla" (Godzilla Resurgence), written by Anno and co-directed by him and Higuchi. The title "Shin Ultraman" is surely no coincidence, as it serves to remind audiences of the two men's first collaborative effort, and sets up expectations for a similar epic treatment of an iconic figure.

The first draft script of the film, which will cover the story of the original "Ultraman" show which aired on Japanese TV from 1966 to 1967, was completed on Feburary 5th, 2019. Anno will join the "Shin Ultraman" project once he has finished the highly-anticipated concluding chapter of the Evangelion films, "Evangelion: 3.0+1.0."

In addition to screenwriting, production and direction, Takumi Saitoh, Masami Nagasawa and Hidetoshi Nishijima have also been announced has cast members.

According to a report in online entertainment site Natalie, Saitoh, who played tank captain Ikeda in "Shin Godzilla," will play the lead role of the man who becomes Ultraman, and Nagasawa will be his partner.

Few details about the story have been revealed, but comments made by the cast and staff reveal a few clues:

Takayuki Tsukagoshi, Representative Director and President at Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd., revealed that "Ultraman will be reborn in contemporary society. We will return to the charm at the origin of the series (...)"

Masami Nagasawa explained: "This work will take unexpected turns but (the characters) always do their utmost to survive the present."

Hidetoshi Nishijima stated: "I had a chance to read the script and I am confident that it will be a first-class work of entertainment which both fans and non-fans will surely enjoy."

"Shin Ultraman" is slated for a theatrical release in 2021 across all Toho theaters in Japan.

By - Ben K.