A few weeks ago, a few images from the upcoming Kamen Rider 1 movie hit the Internet, featuring a new design for the original Rider. It was a bulky, armored affair that --- unlike Shotaro Ishinomori's original design that basically amounted to an Adidas tracksuit accented with some grasshopper-esque touches and a cool red scarf --- turned the character into a hulking, intimidating giant, and as you might expect, the jokes about finally getting "Frank Miller's Kamen Rider" were pretty quick to come.

The thing is, that's kind of what's actually happening. Judging by the trailer that just dropped last week, the new movie is basically the Kamen Rider equivalent of The Dark Knight Returns, right down to actor Hiroshi Fujioka returning to the screen to play a much older version of the role he originated all the way back in 1971. Check out a trailer below!



Fujioka's return as Takeshi Hongo makes a lot of sense for a few different reasons, not the least of which being that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the original Kamen Rider series, which is as good a time as any for the 70 year-old actor to get what might be his final shot at a starring performance as one of Japan's greatest superheroes.

On top of that, the current series, Kamen Rider Ghost, is all about tapping into the legendary figures of the past --- including Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton and Robin Hood --- so if they're planning on actually making this Takeshi Hongo's final adventure, there's a built-in way for his power to continue on into the future of the show.

Of course, that said, Fujioka, and Takeshi Hongo, have never been too far from Kamen Rider. The "Legendary Seven" Riders of the Showa era show up pretty frequently in the annual movies, and Fujioka was on screen as recently as 2014. Still, though, the combination of the aesthetic and the fact that Kamen Rider #1 is getting top billing in the movie makes me thing this might be the swan song.

Or, considering that Gotham City itself showed up a few years ago, that someone over at Toei is really into Batman.


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