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Tsuburaya Productions Taps U.S. Company for Ultraman Reboot

posted on by Karen Ressler
Starlight Runner Entertainment on board to create new mythology

The Hollywood Reporter reported on Tuesday that Japan's Tsuburaya Productions has tapped United States production company Starlight Runner Entertainment to reboot its Ultraman franchise outside of Japan. The reboot will include a new Ultraman mythology and a possible live-action streaming TV series.

Starlight Runner will work with The Licensing Group for licensing and merchandising programs in the U.S. and other international markets. The companies will support the licensing program with new content on cable and streaming platforms.

The 1966 science-fiction series Ultra Q and Ultraman were created by Tsuburaya Productions founder Eiji Tsuburaya, a special-effects director on the first Godzilla film and other classics. The Ultra Series has since spawned numerous spinoffs and sequels. TV Tokyo will premiere Ultraman New Generation Chronicle, a series compiling famous moments from the 2013 Ultraman Ginga series to the 2017 Ultraman R/B series, on January 5. Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi's Ultraman manga is inspiring an upcoming anime that will premiere on Netflix on April 1.

The franchise has expanded overseas before. Tsuburaya Productions and Hanna-Barbera Productions collaborated on the Ultraman USA animated film in 1987, and some of the franchise installments have been adapted into English-dubbed versions, most recently Ultraman Tiga in 2002. Earlier this year, Tsuburaya finalized a lengthy legal battle to reaffirm its international rights for the franchise.

Starlight Runner has previously worked on digital spinoffs for brands such as Men in Black and Halo. The Licensing Group has worked on brands such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Mortal Kombat.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Etan Vlessing)

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