Ultraman Finally Makes it to US Theaters in 2017

Japan's most recognizable pop cultural icon that isn't a giant lizard will stomp his way to a city near you this January.

Ultraman X: The Movie
Photo: Shout Factory/Mill Creek Entertainment

Admit it: you’ve always wanted to see Ultraman beat up a giant Kaiju monster on the big screen. It’s okay. We’ve wanted that for a long time too. That’s why we’re super – er, rather, ultra stoked that we’re getting a once in a lifetime chance to do so.

Thanks to a joint venture between Tsuburaya and distributors William Winckler Productions, Inc., your favorite Japanese spandex-clad superhero who does not pilot a giant mecha of some sort is finally coming to a theater near you. The brand new 50th Anniversary films Ultraman X: The Movie and Ultraman Ginga S: The Movie will be shown as double feature presentation in select cities starting on January 8th, 2017.

But there’s a catch. Both of these films are – gasp – dubbed in English.

While we give you snobs time to process that, let us remind you that William Winckler is a pretty awesome dude. He’s had a long history of translating both anime and live action Japanese properties for the stateside audience. Thirty-two years, to be exact.

Without Winckler and his production company, we wouldn’t have had the classic Tekkaman dub from 1984 or the recent Starzinger stuff or even that highly obscure alternate English dubbed version of Digimon Fusion called Digimon Fusion Battles that airs at 3:15 AM in some part of Malaysia. So if anyone is capable of doing Ultraman’s 50th Anniversary US outing any sort of justice, it’s going to be William Winckler. (We also think he has a name that’s fun to say out loud. Try it out for yourself. Really. Go ahead.)

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Okay, no more Winckler for you. Let’s talk about this double feature already, shall we? Ultraman X: The Movie is the big feature film entry for – you guessed it – Ultraman X, a 2015 Ultra series that has never ever aired in America. But an English subtitled version can be streamed on Crunchyroll in advance if you wish to have at least some kind of context for what you’re about to see. In general, Ultraman X: The Movie is intended to be a celebration of the larger Ultra franchise seeing as it culminates in a big battle royale in which a bunch of headlining Ultramen team-up to stop giant monsters from crushing the city and inadvertently doing more damage in the process.

On the other hand, Ultraman Ginga S The Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors! is the film entry for Ultraman Ginga S, a 2014 Ultra series that is actually a sequel to 2013’s Ultraman Ginga. So good luck with context there, casual fans. (Both of these series can be found streaming on Crunchyroll too in case you want to to go full-on binge beforehand.) Coincidentally, it also culminates in a battle royale in which a bunch of headlining Ultramen team-up to stop giant monsters from crushing the city and inadvertently doing more damage in the process.

So far the Chicago Music Box Theatre, Cleveland Cinemas, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Northwest Diversified Entertainment Theaters, Keystone Cinemas, and other U.S. theaters have signed on for limited screening the new William Winckler produced English dubbed Ultraman Movie Double Feature. We hope there’ll be more added closer to the January 8th release date. For your sake, mostly.

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In the name of Winckler!

Hey kids! Check out the first part of Stephen’s Complete History of Ultraman feature while you wait patiently for the second half to come out next month. And try not to trip over all that steaming debris from the giant monster battles while you’re at it.