by Michelle "Ms. Geek" Klein-Hass
When the third episode in the Rebuild Of Evangelion movie franchise was released in November, 2012, fans had already been grousing about how long the film was delayed. After they saw it, however, there were definitely mixed reactions to this very radical break from the original storyline. Nevertheless, the fans still wanted to see how this take on the Evangelion Saga would end. And they are still waiting, more than two years later.
Now we may finally know why production on Rebuild has slowed, and why Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, was so strange. Hideaki Anno had a recurrence of the depression that consumed him at several points in his life, most notably towards the end of production on the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series.
As Anno put it: “…after it was released, I was broken. I fell into what’s called a depressive state, the natural result of having spent six years grinding down my soul making Eva again.”
Where does this leave episode 4 of Rebuild? He has indicated that he will finish the four-part movie franchise, but that he is, by necessity, taking his time with the film.
This is not to say that Anno has not been keeping himself busy in the interim. During a period when he could not even bear to visit Studio Khara, he was doing voice acting in his mentor Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Wind Rises. And Khara’s online festival of animated shorts, Japan Anima(tor’s) Expo, has taken off to a running start. We have even seen a tantalizing look at what Eva might have looked like in CGI.
So as Rebuild Episode 4 slowly heads towards completion, Anno has been brought into another, very promising project: a Japanese reboot of Godzilla. Inspired by the American film, and wanting to keep the Japanese tokusatsu series going, Toho tapped special effects master Shinji Higuchi as SPFX director. However, the film needed a director, and Higuchi had his heart set on his old friend Anno. It took a lot of persuasion, but eventually Anno was convinced. And on March 31st, 2015, Toho announced the production was going forward. The proximity to April 1st made many (including this writer) quite skeptical, but confirmation of the plan to do the movie has come out since.
This version of Godzilla, apparently, will be a menacing one like the 1954 original. “We’ll have an amazing, horrific nightmare of a movie ready for you next year” said Higuchi. And it was revealed that the Japanese rebooted Gojira would be even larger and more powerful than the one seen in the Legendary/Warner Bros. film from last year. It is not clear whether or not episode 4 of Rebuild Of Evangelion will be released sometime before the projected Summer, 2016 release of the new Gojira, or whether it will be delayed until sometime afterward. However, one thing has become quite clear: it really does take a lot out of Anno’s psyche to revisit the Evangelion saga.
Sources: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/04/02/evangelion-creator-hideaki-anno-opens-up-about-his-latest-bout-with-depression-movie-delays/ http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/04/01/evangelion-and-attack-on-titan-directors-team-up-to-create-2016-godzilla-movie/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideaki_Anno