DECISIVE BATTLE! THE SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS
Advance ticket sales for the upcoming theatrical feature DECISIVE BATTLE! THE SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS (Daikessen! Chou Hachi Urutora Kyoudai), which went on sale on April 26th, have already surpassed 55,000, Variety Japan reports. The Cine Libre theatre in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district has sold more than 3,000 tickets alone.
The movie, which isn’t due to be released for another three months, will unite eight warriors and two generations of Ultra heroes.
Set and filmed in Yokohama, the movie will also commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Opening of the Port of Yokohama. Production of the movie was officially supported by the City of Yokohama, with Mayor Hiroshi Nakada also putting in an appearance as himself. Featuring famous locations such as the Yokohama Chinatown and Motomachi Shopping Street, the city provides a prime location for the film’s grand battle scenes.
Hiroshi Nagano stars as Daigo Madoka, who will once again transform into Ultraman Tiga. When ULTRAMAN TIGA (Urutoraman Tiga) first broadcast in 1996, it was the first regular Ultraman series Tsuburaya Productions had produced in 16 years. The impact the show had is undeniable; while a member of the highly successful idol group V6, Nagano’s time as Ultraman is still fondly remembered. “Last year…around 100 senior high school students about 17 or 18 years old were at a location shoot, [they] were calling me “Tiga” and “Daigo”, Nagano said. “Reckoning it was the TV series [they watched], that was 10 years ago, they must have been 6, 7 or 8 years old.” “Even now, with the years and months that have passed, “Tiga” or “Daigo” are the official names I’m called.”
Nagano will be joined by fellow Ultra-alumni Takeshi Tsuruno as Shin Asuka (Ultraman Dyna), Takeshi Yoshioka as Gamu Takayama (Ultraman Gaia), Shunji Igarashi as Mirai Hibino (Ultraman Mebius), Susumu Kurobe as Shin Hayata (Ultraman), Kohji Moritsugu as Dan Moroboshi (Ultra Seven), Jiro Dan as Hideki Goh (Ultraman Jack) and Keiji Takamine as Seiji Hokuto (Ultraman Ace).
The supporting cast also includes many of the shows’ popular heroines, including Takami Yoshimoto as Rena, Hiroko Sakurai as Akiko, Yuriko Hishimi as Anne, Rumi Sakakibara as Aki and Mitsuko Hoshi as Yuko.
But Variety reports that it’s not all about Ultraman. The new movie will also include a scene paying tribute to Tsuburaya Productions’ very first production, the science fiction mystery series ULTRA Q (Urutora Kyuu, 1966). Opening in a Showa-era setting, with an atmosphere described similar to that of Takashi Yamazaki’s ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET (ALWAYS Sanchoume-no Yuuhi, 2005), a family watches the classic series on an old television set.
At the on-set of SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS, our heroes have forgotten their true identities. Three in particular have now taken regular jobs — Daigo works for the City of Yokohama as government office personnel, Asuka is a ball boy at a baseball stadium, and Gamu is a curator at a museum.
However, one day, a mirage of a desert appears in the city. For some unknown reason, only Daigo can see the image of the gallant Ultraman warrior inside. Soon after, in Daigo’s mind, the activities of the other Ultraman hosts appear to him. These images are strangely real, and furthermore, the people who became Ultraman in his vision are familiar to him; Hayata, Dan, Goh and Hokuto, who all live in a highly respected neighbourhood. Soon Asuka and Gamu also dream that they transformed into Ultra warriors.
While perplexed between these mysterious dreams and reality, Daigo hears the sound of a bell, and a girl wearing red shoes appears before him. But, a dark shadow also appears, it’s motives quite sinister…!
Opposing our eight Ultra heroes, the film features a diverse cast of monsters and aliens from shows both new and old. Leading the monster army is Alien Hipporito, now dubbed “Super Alien Hipporito”, who first appeared in the ULTRAMAN ACE (Urutoraman Eesu, 1972) series. Hipporito’s army of monsters are all given the prefix “King”, and they include Gesura from the original ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman, 1966), Pandon from ULTRA SEVEN (Urutorasebun, 1967), Silvergon from ULTRAMAN TIGA and ULTRAMAN DYNA (Urutoraman Daina, 1997) and Goldoras from ULTRAMAN TIGA.
The theme song for the movie is entitled LIGHT IN YOUR HEART, and will be performed by the band V6. The group, which includes the film’s star Nagano, previously performed the song TAKE ME HIGHER for the opening credits of the ULTRAMAN TIGA series. The release date for LIGHT IN YOUR HEART has yet to be announced.
Marking his motion picture debut, Takeshi Yagi takes the dual role of both Director and Special Effects Director for 8 ULTRA BROTHERS. After joining Tsuburaya Productions in the early 90s, he served as an Assistant Director for the ULTRA SEVEN TV specials, ULTRAMAN TIGA and ULTRAMAN DYNA. He made his directorial debut with the original video series MOON SPIRAL (Muunsupairaru, 1996). He made his TV debut as a director with ULTRAMAN GAIA, on which he also served as Special Effects Director for the first time. He continued these two posts concurrently throughout Tsuburaya’s subsequent Ultraman series.
In 2004, Yagi was credited as the Main Director for ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY (Urutora Kyuu Daaku Fantajii). In 2005, he served as Producer/Series Organizer for the popular ULTRAMAN MAX (Urutoraman Makkusu) series, and more recently as Series Organizer/Main Director for ULTRASEVEN X (Urutorasebun Ekkusu, 2007). He retired from Tsuburaya Productions in January 2008 to begin working as a freelance Director/Producer, but has continued to oversee ULTRA 8 BROTHERS throughout post production.
The screenplay for the movie was written by Keiichi Hasegawa. He made his debut as a script writer on ULTRAMAN TIGA, and has since written for all subsequent Ultraman TV series. Additionally, he served as Series Organizer for 2004’s ULTRAMAN NEXUS (Urutoraman Nekusasu) series, and in 2001 co-wrote the movie GODZILLA MOTHRA & KING GHIDORAH (aka GMK, Gojira Mosura Kingugidora Daikaiju Sokougeki, 2001) with Masahiro Yokotani and Shusuke Kaneko.
His screenplays for Ultraman movies include such titles as ULTRAMAN GAIA: THE BATTLE IN HYPERSPACE (Urutoraman Tiga & Urutoraman Daina & Urutoraman Gaia Choujikuu-no Daikessen, 1999), ULTRAMAN TIGA: THE FINAL ODDESSY (Urutoraman Tiga Za Fainaru Odessei, 2000), ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT (Ultraman, 2004) and ULTRAMAN MEBIUS & ULTRAMAN BROTHERS (Urutoraman Mebiusu ando Urutora Kyoudai, 2006).
DECISIVE BATTLE! THE SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS will premiere at theatres nation-wide in Japan on September 13th 2008.
Director / Director of Special Effects: Takeshi Yagi
Screenplay: Keiichi Hasegawa
Supervisor: Kazuo Tsuburaya
Chief Producer: Kiyoshi Suzuki
Assistant Director: Taikan Higurashi
CGI Director: Kenji Wantabe
VXF Supervisor: Takaaki Saito
Effects Supervisor: Tadao Fujishita
Editor: Akira Matsuki
Director of Photography: Sou Takahashi
Lighting: Hiromichi Yakeyama
Art Director: Tetsuzou Oosawa
Art Designer: Masato Inatsuki
Audio Recording: Hiroshi Ishigai
DECISIVE BATTLE! THE SUPER 8 ULTRA BROTHERS Production Committee:
Tsuburaya Productions, Bandai, Bandai Visual, Banpresto, Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting, Dentsu, Shogakukan, IMAGICA, Dentsu Tec, Yokohama FM Broadcasting, Shochiku