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Richard Taylor (Weta) still enthused May 6th, 2008

At the Well­gin­ton Armaged­don Pop Cul­ture Con, Richard Tay­lor spoke about his enthu­si­asm for the Evan­ge­lion live action movie with a fan:

Thanks Tino!

Matt Greenfield at Tekkoshocon April 28th, 2006

I watched this video of a panel from Tekkoshocon, and I’m sur­prised to say that the word on the Live Action Evan­ge­lion Project seems pretty good. I’ve had severe hes­i­ta­tions, and have on more than one occa­sion acted as a sort of har­bin­ger of doom in regards to the project, con­vinced that there is no way in hell that the project would amount in any­thing of sig­nif­i­cance or worth. Based upon some of what is being said by Green­field, I’m start­ing to think dif­fer­ently. His state­ments about how the project is cur­rently pro­gress­ing are actu­ally quite impres­sive, and make me some­what at ease to know that at the very least, some amaz­ing tal­ent will go into real­iz­ing this project. I’m still skep­ti­cal as to whether or not the pro­duc­tion can or will cap­ture the same essence of what Anno expressed through Evan­ge­lion a decade ago. Nev­er­the­less, it seems like some­thing to keep an eye on in the com­ing months more than ever, as Green­field ulti­mately states that a direc­tor will most likely be signed on by the end of the year. Very excit­ing times appear to be ahead in the Live Action Evan­ge­lion Project.

Here are some notes in brief from the panel in regards to the project:

  • Matt Green­field says that Weta approached ADV about approach­ing Gainax to do a live action Eva movie.
  • Three “A List” direc­tors that are also fans of Evan­ge­lion approached ADV about the project, not the other way around.
  • Green­field talks about get­ting their pitch pack­age together and that “the first thing is Robin Williams talk­ing about Evan­ge­lion”, who is appar­ently a big Evan­ge­lion fan, and the appear­ance of the Mass Pro­duc­tion Eva toy in One Hour Photo is entirely his doing.
  • Celebri­ties have been inquir­ing directly to ADV about being involved in Live Action Evangelion.
  • The direc­tor to be signed will most likely be the first to have room in their schedule.
  • Green­field acknowl­edges the uncer­tainty of the final prod­uct due to the nature of film mak­ing being dri­ven by the director.
  • The slug script was writ­ten by a well known writer who has writ­ten sev­eral well known sci-fi movies. The slug script will be re-written to fit the tastes and vision of the direc­tor selected.
  • Green­field acknowl­edges that the chil­dren will most likely be age appro­pri­ate. The kids will be picked and then the adults will be cast to work well with the children.
  • Tiffany Grant asserts that Weta gets 20 times more email about Evan­ge­lion than Lord of the Rings.
  • Green­field says a direc­tor will most likely be signed by the end of the year.
  • Green­filed says they don’t want to make it for profit, but because they want to do it, and they want to do it right, and do it jus­tice in the same way that Lord of the Rings did.


CHUD interview Richard Taylor April 1st, 2006

No new news here, which is the same story every­where I am afraid. How­ever here are some signs of adap­tion integrity and Taylor’s words are encouraging:

Q: So King Kong was Peter’s dream project since he was a child. Is there a dream project you have?

Tay­lor: There are many ideas that I would love to one day bring to fruition, but I respect­fully put them on the back burner while we develop other people’s ideas. But right now prob­a­bly my great­est desire is to see Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion come to life. I’ve been work­ing on that nearly four years with ADV, the peo­ple who own the rights to the live action film. We’ve trav­eled to Japan, we’ve met the orig­i­nal cre­ators, we have done devel­op­ment work on it. I believe Evan­ge­lion, to the Asian mar­ket, could be up there with the Lord of the Rings.

Q: What is the cur­rent sta­tus of that film?

Tay­lor: I don’t hon­estly know, but that’s not to say that it won’t hap­pen. Everyone’s inten­tions is to see it hap­pen. It’s a very, very com­plex prop­erty to bring to the world cin­ema because of its incred­i­ble fol­low­ing. It has to be done, hope­fully, with great sen­si­tiv­ity and aes­thet­i­cally with utter per­fec­tion. That requires time and thought.

Has it really been four years? My how time flies. If you want to read the full arti­cle here is the link: CHUD​.com

Thanks to all those who sub­mit­ted this.

And here’s a fun age-old video inter­view with Mr. Taylor:

Richard Taylor, head of Weta, hopes to Co-produce December 9th, 2005

IGN have pub­lished an arti­cle con­cern­ing the live action evan­ge­lion movie adap­ta­tion. It focuses on Richard Tay­lor, head of Weta Work­shop, and his thoughts and plans for the movie.

Tay­lor: “I’ve just been to Japan pur­su­ing this, […] I think that is the great untold story to the world. It is sub­lime. It is arguably some of the most beau­ti­ful and poignant ani­ma­tion ever cre­ated, and a huge per­cent­age of the pop cul­ture world now know it, but only through a live-action fea­ture film will it tran­scend that and receive the recog­ni­tion for the art piece that it is.

Richard Tay­lor, who views the animé as an exquis­ite art piece wants this film to be made right — so much so that he him­self will guide the pro­duc­tion and over­see the entire process.

“Now, actu­ally achiev­ing it as a live-action fea­ture film is extremely dif­fi­cult to imag­ine. Tech­no­log­i­cally, sure, it’s doable. But at an eso­teric, uni­verse level, it is an unbe­liev­ably impact­ing and dra­matic story con­cept. [It’s got] pseudo-religious over­tones, and all these won­der­ful motifs are woven into it. It’s some­thing that you can gen­er­ate over 26 hours of ani­ma­tion, but try­ing to encap­su­late that down into a fea­ture film would be a mas­sive chal­lenge. But … with the right direc­tor, I think it could be a very beau­ti­ful movie. …And that’s my big pur­suit at the moment. I’ve put an awful lot of energy into it.”

With a man like this behind the wheel we should all have some con­fi­dence. Tay­lor is ded­i­cated to the cause and he is unlikely to sell out or make unimag­in­able blun­ders as this film is a direct rep­re­sen­ta­tion of his com­pany. But most impor­tantly he is some­body that loves the orig­i­nal animé; this Evan­ge­lion film could still be some­thing great.

“We’ll be blessed just to work on it. But it would be an oppor­tu­nity for us to look at it at a dif­fer­ent level if [Weta helped pro­duce the movie].”

Source: IGN: Weta Head hopes to Co-produce Evan­ge­lion
Thanks to Chris Davis and ‘The Dit’

John Ledford (ADV CEO) and the Eva Live Action November 29th, 2005

For​tune​.com have just recently pub­lished an arti­cle enti­tled “Animé Explo­sion”.

“From Poké­mon to Full Metal Panic, the animé indus­try is doing every­thing the rest of show biz isn’t: embrac­ing tech­nol­ogy, cod­dling fans—and mak­ing a killing.”

Daniel Roth dis­cusses the cur­rent state of the animé indus­try in the west, the approach to piracy, new tech­nol­ogy and fanat­i­cal otaku. The arti­cle cen­tres on John Led­ford, CEO of AD Vision; pri­mar­ily his busi­ness strate­gies, his encoun­ters with fans at his door at 2am and of course, the live action Evan­ge­lion movie. The arti­cle goes on to men­tion fan-subbers, the enter­tain­ment indus­try and var­i­ous ADV acqui­si­tions. In dis­cussing otaku (extreme animé fanat­ics), Roth gives brief men­tion of the live action evan­ge­lion situation:

“Since 2003 [Ledford’s] been shop­ping the idea of mak­ing a live-action ver­sion of Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion, […] Led­ford signed on the Weta Com­pa­nies, […] to come up with plans for what the Evan­ge­lion world might look like. But instead of micro­manag­ing the project, Led­ford had Weta answer to two Evan­ge­lion fanat­ics at his company.”

Through bad­ger­ing and exten­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Weta it shows that ADV are tak­ing this film very seri­ously. This isn’t going to be a cheap knock off; ADV sim­ply can­not afford to offend the great major­ity of their cus­tomers. And to that means it seems they want to do things right, with or with­out Hideaki Anno.

“Richard Tay­lor, Weta’s co-founder, says he’s never expe­ri­enced any­thing quite like it. Twice a week he’d have a con­fer­ence call with the fans at ADV, send­ing them ren­der­ings of his designs for things like the 100-foot-tall robots and get­ting in return their ency­clo­pe­dic take on the inter­pre­ta­tions. “These are peo­ple who could be con­sid­ered schol­ars on the world of Evan­ge­lion,” says Tay­lor. “We had to appease them and find their approval.”

It fol­lows on to men­tion a meet­ing between Tay­lor and a pro­posed pro­ducer at the San Diego Comic-Con in an attempt to ‘jump-start’ the pro­duc­tion. Bud­get­ing is also men­tioned and it seems ADV has raised $100m of the $120 mil­lion they need.

The fans are also mak­ing them­selves heard – a lot. Even more so than those who enjoyed Lord of the Rings:

“We get a lot of e-mails, a lot of let­ters from peo­ple around the world about Lord of the Rings. But we get 25 e-mails about Evan­ge­lion to every one we get about Lord of the Rings,” says Tay­lor. “And Evan­ge­lion has not even been made yet.”

A fan even con­sulted Tay­lor dur­ing his meet­ing with the pro­ducer, ask­ing whether or not any­thing was being done about the movie:

Tay­lor turned to the pro­ducer and said, “This is why we have to do this movie.”

Source: For​tune​.com
Thanks to Derek

Richard Taylor and Matt Greenfield at Supanova November 20th, 2005

This past Octo­ber, at Supanova, Australia’s pop cul­ture con­ven­tion, Matt Green­field of ADV Films, and Richard Tay­lor of WETA Work­shop spoke about the prospects of Live Action Evangelion.

You can down­load pod­casts of the pan­els below:

Richard Tay­lor
Panel abstract


Skip to 19:00 for Live Action Evangelion.

Matt Green­field:
Panel abstract


Skip to 22:00 for Live Action Evangelion.

David Williams (ADV) interview July 1st, 2005

There hasn’t really been any sub­stan­tial news con­cern­ing the live action Evan­ge­lion movie. As we all by now know, this is due to the strin­gent and secre­tive process of sign­ing a direc­tor for this project. Con­tracts, inter­views, short­lists and talks have to be made and all three par­ties involved must be happy with the final deci­sion. Until then no one can make any sort of pub­lic dec­la­ra­tion or pro­vide any news that would get us all excited or riled with anger.

“Galaxy Animé” ( http://​www​.gatv​.tv/ ) have just recently put up an inter­view with David Williams, cur­rently an ADR Direc­tor for ADV Films as well as DVD Pro­ducer. The inter­view is in a win­dows media player streamed audio for­mat and takes place fol­low­ing his panel at a recent con­ven­tion. The inter­view talks about the down swing of the animé indus­try over the past six months, new ‘gate­way’ shows, the upcom­ing releases and how the indus­try is on its way back up. The inter­view wraps up with a brief talk con­cern­ing the live action adap­ta­tion. To sum­marise he states that there is noth­ing new to talk about and that they are in nego­ti­a­tions with a par­tic­u­lar direc­tor. Should this direc­tor sign and take on the project and Gainax, ADV and Weta all agree with the deci­sion, then the ball will be set rolling and we may get some real news.

While still noth­ing excit­ing, it does show that behind the scenes cogs are still work­ing and that things have advanced from a mere short­list of direc­tors. Forums mem­bers are also talk­ing about some more pos­i­tive and less neu­tral replies to the bom­bard­ment of emails sent to ADV sug­gest­ing that sig­nif­i­cant news is just over the hori­zon. We’ll see. (Thanks Tris­ton Ordway)

O-Chibicon — Matt Greenfield August 9th, 2004

Just got this email, an inter­est­ing read, noth­ing new, A-list directors:


I don’t think any­body is offi­cially cov­er­ing O-Chibicon this week­end (being a new­bie con and small), but
it does so hap­pen that ADV is head­quar­tered in Hous­ton, TX.

ADV, apart from other events they did there, also had a 2 hour panel which included Matt Green­field, Jan­ice Williams,
Tiffany Grant and other ADV staff.

Most of the stuff they cov­ered had already been posted at other cons, but there was, I believe, some new information.

Below are some of the ques­tions and answers of inter­est I cov­ered with Mr. Greenfield:


Q: “Matt, assum­ing I have my infor­ma­tion cor­rect, you are a pro­ducer [live action Evan­ge­lion]. Will you
be mak­ing a cameo in the film? Tra­di­tion­ally this is the case [for producers]

Matt com­mented on what seemed to be an inside joke on his pos­si­ble appear­ance in the film, but he did directly com­ment on:

“We are def­i­nitely try­ing to have all of the VAs involved in the film. Both Japan­ese and Amer­i­can voice actors.
We hope each one can have a cameo of some sort. Of course, this will all depend when we actu­ally get
closer to the project [pro­duc­tion]. Sched­ul­ing and so forth.”


When answer­ing ques­tions on the film, he reit­er­ated, as he did in other cons and venues, that actors are not cur­rently
being seri­ously con­sid­ered as the project is in its ear­li­est pre-production. He cited the kids from Harry Pot­ter as a good exam­ple of what can hap­pen in a few years.

He did com­ment directly on:

“Before any of that we need a Direc­tor. We are cur­rently talk­ing to 7 to 8 direc­tors. These guys are all ‘A lists’”

He went on to say that, of course, cast­ing choices would be made by the Director.

I point­edly asked:

Q: “Matt, what kind of finan­cial risk will the live action Evan­ge­lion be to ADV films?”

Matt went on to say, more or less, that it is not a finan­cial risks because IT IS Evan­ge­lion.
He believes that the high pro­duc­tion val­ues of Weta, the pas­sion for the project and its world­wide
fol­low­ing will guar­an­tee its success.


(Per­son­ally, I asked the above ques­tion because I fear that if the film does flop it could bank­rupt ADV, but anyhow.)

I hope some of the above stuff is useful.

Fer­nando Gon­za­lez Jr.

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