Remember that unlicensed Chinese Ultraman movie which came out in 2017? Well, the actual rights holders for Ultraman, Tsurubaya Productions, sued them for copyright infringement. And after a couple of years, the Shanghai court has decided in favour of Tsuburaya. Now, Chinese production company BlueArc, which produced the unlicensed Ultraman movie, Dragon Force: So Long, Ultraman, will have to pay them 38 million yen worth of damages.
The unlicensed movie featured Ultraman as the main villain, taking on the film’s Chinese heroes. Safe to say that Tsuburaya was not pleased at all and sued BlueArc in 2018. They previously tried to stop the movie’s release in 2017, but BlueArc still went ahead with the film’s release. Tsuburaya withdrew that suit and then filed another lawsuit back in February 2018. This latest suit claimed that the movie’s production, advertising, and screening was a copyright infringement of Ultraman.
For their part, it seems that BlueArc took the first withdrawal as a sign that Tsuburaya is giving them the rights to the classic Tokusatsu hero. However, the Japanese company said that they have NOT surrendered any rights to the Ultraman property, and did in fact continue to take legal action… and won.
The movie itself has been widely hated by Ultraman fans all over the world, unanimously calling it as “Fake Ultraman”. Even Chinese fans didn’t like the movie at all, calling it a “cheap rip-off”. The movie didn’t get any critical acclaim either, as most critics gave the movie some pretty bad reviews.
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