Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Project Ultraman

Our friend Dhiti Chantravekin provided The Lost Kaiju with info on the upcoming show Project Ultraman. Here's the scoop:

Project Ultraman is a new TV series made by Chaiyo Production in collaboration with Apex Toys and a Chinese company named Ruishi Culture Developing. There will be 3 Ultraman in this series: Ultraman Elite, Ultraman Millennium and Dark Ultraman. All are the brainchild of Chaiyo Production and has nothing to do with the Japanese Ultraman. The budget for this series is around 100 million Baht. It will run for 52 episodes in Thailand, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. And currently Chaiyo Production is in negotiation to have the series on air in North America and Europe.

80% of the series is casted in China in great locations like the Kobi Desert and the snow capped mountain in Tibet while 20% will be done in the studio. The famous Chinese movie star "Ekin Cheng" will portray Ultraman Elite, Mathew Dean will portray Ultraman Millennium and Ray McDonald will portray Dark Ultraman. In addition, Chaiyo Production also plans a Ultraman roadshow called "Walk Through Theme Exhibition Ultraman Live Show 4D" around Asia except Japan. It is expected to attract 2 million visitors a year.

Additional information: Two years ago, the Japanese High Court ruled that Chaiyo Production has the copyright of Ultraman in Thailand and worldwide except Japan where the copyright still belongs to Tsuburaya Production. The case for this lawsuit dated back 20 years ago when Tsuburaya almost went bankrupt and borrowed the money of 30 million Baht from Chaiyo Production in exchange for the Ultraman copyright. After the death of Eji Tsuburaya, his son wanted the copyright back and brought the case to court. Both companies fought in court for years until the final ruling.

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