ULTRAMAN Directors Takeshi Yagi & William Winckler Launch New Productions
Veteran Ultraman directors form partnership to produce new Japanese style sci-fi / fantasy films and television series for worldwide distribution and licensing.
Source: William Winckler press release
Manhattan, New York, July 2019 – New Japanese style sci-fi/fantasy film and television productions are being developed by veteran Ultraman directors Takeshi Yagi (ULTRAMAN COSMOS, UULTRAMAN MEBIUS, SUPERIOR 8 ULTRAMAN BROTHERS) and William Winckler (English language writer/director of ULTRAMAN X THE MOVIE, ULTRAMAN GINGA S THE MOVIE, ULTRA FIGHT VICTORY). The slate of new projects / IPs are joint U.S. – Japanese productions, developed in partnership by Yagi and Winckler.
Classic Japanese style monster movies, new Japanese superheroes, horror films, and fantasy titles, combining traditional FX and today’s CG are planned. Yagi and Winckler state, “We will be making amazing new films and series fusing Japanese and classic Hollywood storytelling. These will be fresh, new, original stories, full of unique characters and adventure, for film and television.”
Yagi is currently in New York with Winckler, meeting with U.S.production partners, studios and domestic and international distributors for the original Japanese fusion productions.
Since 1999 Takeshi Yagi has worked in Japan as director, special effects director, and producer on hundreds of half-hour episodes of various TV series for Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd., including ULTRAMAN GAIA, ULTRAMAN COSMOS, MOON SPIRAL, BOOSKA! BOOSKA!!, ULTRA Q: DARK FANTASY, ULTRAMAN NEXUS, ULTRAMAN MAX, ULTRAMAN MEBIUS, and SUPERIOR 8 ULTRAMAN BROTHERS. Yagi’s 2008 theatrical feature film SUPERIOR 8 ULTRAMAN BROTHERS, which reunited many classic Ultraman stars — Susumu Kurobe (the original Ultraman), Koji Moritsugu (Ultraseven) and Jiro Dan (Ultraman Jack) — remains the most financially successful, highest grossing box office film of Ultraman ever produced. Yagi also directed the special effects for SUPERIOR 8 ULTRAMAN BROTHERS, which included all miniature and suitmation fx, as well as all practical pyrotechnics and digital/CG work.
Yagi’s director credits also include URBAN LEGEND SEPIA for Toei Company Ltd. (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), and the Japanese film series starring members of Japan’s popular all girl band / idol girl group, AKB 48, titled AKB HORROR NIGHT: NIGHT OF ADRENALINE, and its sequel AKB LOVE NIGHTt: KOI KOJO. Yagi’s samurai period pieces include producing THE SWORD AND THE HAIRPIN, as well as directing the hit 2017 horror mini-series REIMA: THE CURSE OF EVIL SPIRITS.
Yagi’s anime work includes SD GUNDAM, the series that celebrated the 25th anniversary of the iconic Gundam franchise, featuring cell shaded 3D CG.
William Winckler has written, produced, and directed over fifty feature films, several TV series, pilots, anime series and anime movies. He’s also known for writing, producing, and directing English language versions of Ultraman, Japan’s most famous superhero character, for Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd.
Winckler was the youngest producer of an English language anime series for American syndicated TV in 1984, writing and producing TEKKAMAN THE SPACE KNIGHT at age nineteen. The kids audience for TEKKAMAN was bigger than that of most of today’s major network prime time TV audiences.
Winckler’s classic anime credits include DIGIMON FUSION BATTLES, FIST OF THE NORTH STAR, SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK, TEKKAMAN THE SPACE KNIGHT, GAIKING, DANGUARD ACE, STARZINGER, LUN LUN THE FLOWER GIRL, THE ADVENTURES OF NADJA, KITARO’S GRAVEYARD GANG, MYTHICAL DETECTIVE LOKI, FREE! ETERNAL SUMMER, EDEN, PRIPARA (Prism Paradise), NET GHOST PIPOPA, NINTAMA RANTARO (Nina Boy Rentaro) and other famous titles. Winckler also wrote, produced and directed the cult movie hits, THE DOUBLE-D AVENGER (reuniting Russ Meyer film stars Kitten Natividad, Haji and Raven De La Croix), and the award-winning, black-and-white, retro monster movie FRANKENSTEIN VS. THE CREATURE FROM BLOOD COVE.
Winckler has worked with major Japanese studios including Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd., Toei Animation, Tatsunoko Production Co. Ltd., HappiNet, Capcom, Digital Frontiers, Kyoto Animation, Production Reed, Atomic Monkey, NHK, WowMax and others. He also wrote and directed the American English version of Capcom’s live-action horror movie ZOMBREX: DEAD RISING SUN, based on the famous zombie video game Dead Rising.
His English language Ultraman films to date include ULTRAMAN X THE MOVIE, ULTRAMAN GINGA S THE MOVIE, ULTRA FIGHT VICTORY, MEGA MONSTER BATTLE ULTRA GALAXY: THE MOVIE (Warner Brothers Japan), ULTRAMAN ZERO: THE REVENGE OF BELIAL, and ULTRAMAN SAGA. ULTRAMAN X THE MOVIE is especially noteworthy since it’s the 50th Anniversary theatrical feature of Ultraman, Japan’s iconic superhero brand /franchise. ULTRAMAN X THE MOVIE along with ULTRAMAN GINGA S THE MOVIE were successfully released theatrically all across America and Canada in early 2017 as an Ultraman movie “Double-Feature.”