At a press conference in Japan today, Shin Kamen Rider director and writer Hideaki Anno—who, outside of his association with Neon Genesis Evangelion, previously took on tokusatsu icons Godzilla and Ultraman for their own “Shin” movies alongside collaborator Shinji Higuchi—revealed the main stars of the film, alongside trailers. The Last Samurai’s Sosuke Ikematsu will play Takeshi Hongo, the young man kidnapped by the villainous Shocker organization and transformed into a superpowered cyborg—only to turn against them and fight back their evil as the very first Kamen Rider. Ace Attorney’s Minami Hamabe will play one of Hongo’s closest allies from the original show, Ruriko Midorikawa, the daughter of a professor killed by Kamen Rider’s very first monster of the week, the Man Spider. In the original series, Ruriko blamed Kamen Rider for her father’s death, before realizing the truth about Takeshi and becoming his ally in the fight against Shocker.
As well as the cast reveal, Anno, Ikematsu, and Hamabe debuted two, ever so slightly different trailers for the movie, each with very similar footage of Kamen Rider sliding, leaping, and doing stunts with his iconic bike—and all set as an homage to the original show’s opening, right down to the theme song:
While it remains to be seen just how out there Shin Ultraman goes—the film was delayed from its summer 2021 release, and little has come in the way of updates since its own trailer—but while Shin Godzilla tried some bold new things for the iconic kaiju, Shin Kamen Rider looks to be trying to ape the classic Showa-era series as much as possible, presenting its tone and aesthetic through a modern lens. Which makes sense—Anno is a loud and proud lifetime fan of the series and even cosplayed as Hongo as a young man. A picture of the director in his old costume was even used as a new poster advert for Shin Kamen Rider and a new Hideaki Anno themed exhibition, released in Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun today alongside the new conference:
So yeah, that our first look at Shin Kamen Rider is basically Anno filming a man in a bug superhero costume doing bike stunts in a quarry? Perfect. Exactly what you’d expect. Shin Kamen Rider is set to hit Japanese theaters in March 2023.
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