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Fortune.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.”
Thanks to Derek
From Active Animé:
“On August 7 of this year, we informed all of you that the live action adaptation of Evangelion was alive and well, and that the information that we received came from ADV Films David Del Rio.
“This time around, I asked the same question to Matt Greenfield right after the Godannar screening. As we all know, Matt Greenfield is the one that’s heading the live action adaptation project of Evangelion.
“When I ask Matt, he gave me an enthusiastic thumb up, and said “Yes”. He added the he is planning of visiting Weta Workshop to find out what project they’re currently working on, and to see if there are changes to be made while in New Zealand in October.”
Active Animé have posted a small news snippet discussing the ongoing development of the Evangelion movie after meeting with Del Rio, Creative Director for ADV Films.
He says that the movie is still Live and well and that ADV are taking their time to make sure the movie is as envisioned. It also mentions that Weta are currently busy with King Kong, but apparently there may be some changes to the concept art once production begins. Del Rio is also hoping for a 2/3 movie deal.
Trivial Being forum member Legion has picked up the latest issue of Neo, a british animé publication. The full article scan can be found here: .
To summarise the article, it simply states that the live action evangelion project is currently on hold according to the Weta website (we already knew this). No major news, just an announcement in print.
Nick Buras has kindly informed me that Weta have updated their website and have included the Neon Genesis Evangelion live action movie as a ‘current project’:
Weta Workshop Eva Project Page
As for the status of the project, which everyone has been concerned due to the lack of any formidable news: UNDER DEVELOPMENT -
QUOTE: “Weta has been designing a live-action adaptation of Neon Genesis: Evangelion. The film is on hold but it is Weta’s hope that it will enjoy getting to work on the film production of this amazing story in the near future.”
The site also contains a flash representation of all their concept work so far, no pictures that cannot be found here although it does confirm that they created the rogue image found only in a japanese newtype magazine, (Image). In the image descriptions the characters are given their correct titles.
ADV have launched a new section of their website dedicated to their theatrical releases.
ADV Theatrical Division
Quote: ADV Films, the #1 producer-distributor of animé in the U.S., today announced that they are expanding the ADV Films website to include a page dedicated to the company’s theatrical releases (www.advfilms.com/theatrical).
The new website, with an emphasis on Japanese and Korean films, offers a one-stop information source for both film buffs and theatre professionals, providing background material on each film as well as listings of theatres and play dates for current showings. Theatre managers and publicists are able to download press materials, including biographies, cast and crew lists, interviews and art work for each film. Film buyers have the ability to check out ADV Theatrical’s release schedule as well as a chance to see what films are available in 35 mm from ADV’s library, such as the classic Gamera series.
This expansion of the web site comes at time when the cinema world is focusing on the Korean film making industry. Richard Pena, Director of the New York Film Festival and curator of the Korean Film retrospective at Lincoln Center recently stated “With recent major festival awards at Cannes and Venice, the cinema of South Korea has become one of the most respected, and eagerly anticipated, national cinemas anywhere today.”
“This new page is a welcome addition to our web site” said John Ledford, president, CEO and co-founder of ADV Films. “Our animé web site has always been very popular with our fans and I know that our theatrical page will be also.”
Official Announcement — source
Alright, so ADV has appointed a man named Steven Buck as the Director of the up-and-coming theatrical division of ADV (which would, of course, be compromised of only the Evangelion project as far as I know, there may be other projects we don’t know about!). Just as a note: this is NOT stating that he is the director of Evangelion… they still haven’t chosen, or have not released the information…
But, since Buck will be head of the theatrics, I tried to do a bit of back-ground research on him only to fall short (though I really only checked on imdb). Do any of you know anything about him rather than the fact that he founded art-house movie theatres?
At the King Records/Production IG panel at Otakon 2004, Okazaki, when asked about the live action Eva movie, stated that King Records was not involved in it and that they “weren’t very happy about it.”
King Records owns the Star Child label that handles distribution and licensing for alot of animé titles. They handled Japanese distribution for Evangelion and the movies. They also released all of the Japanese Eva soundtracks.
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