[LAEM] It's all up in the air

The place for all of the old Live Action Evangelion Movie threads.
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Postby gatotsu911 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:29 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:Sure, if whoever directs it could properly handle those elements. However, while the Evangelions may be the titular component, if it came down to cutting the characters out, or cutting the Evas out, the characters are more important.

Honestly? I'm not so sure. Part of me would rather see a film that encapsulates the bombastic, showy aspects of the series and doesn't even bother with the drama than an attempt at pure drama doomed to fail on account of lacking the context and raw, personal vision of the original. Incidentally, that part of me is the part that derives enjoyment from the Rebuild films. [/BURN]

Tarnsman wrote:Mecha isn't something that translates well into live action, even with Hollywood's budget behind it, and while I would like to see the element preserved, I think it would have to be handled in a different way to truly work.

Handled in a different way? Yes. Axed entirely? No!

A couple other points to keep in mind: 1) Like it or not, "giant robots battle mystical aliens" is a hell of a lot easier, as a concept, to both pitch and sell than "depressed teenage boy struggles with parental issues and emerging sexuality". And "depressed teenage boy pilots a giant robot and battles mystical aliens while struggling with parental issues and emerging sexuality" is... well, I don't know about marketability, but it's a hell of a lot more unique than either of the above. Which is sort of the whole point, in the first place. I don't even have a problem with that. Evangelion draws viewers in with its seemingly straightforward premise, then takes them on a trip as it uses that premise to explore deeper and darker ideas. That's part of what makes it so appealing to so many people. 2) Without the sci-fi plot, the characters would be practically inert. If Shinji didn't have the fate of the world thrust on his shoulders, he would just be a quiet, depressed teenager who doesn't say or do anything significant for the entire story. If Rei weren't an alien clone-girl suffering a very literal existential crisis, she would just be weird and boring. Which brings me to another point: plucked out of the context of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi plot and placed into the real world, the characters would seem excessively over-the-top. Their histrionics would be a hell of a lot harder to swallow if they weren't constantly placed in quite literally life-or-death situations. (You wouldn't want Evangelion to turn into American Beauty, would you?) They're fantastically written and fascinatingly multidimensional, for sure, but they're still anime characters. They need that larger-than-life setting for their slightly larger-than-life characterizations to feel at home. 3) The sci-fi plot contributes a LOT to the themes and ideas of the show. Would the exploration of the desire to "become one" with another person be as effective without the allegory of the AT Fields and Instrumentality Project? Would the themes of alienation, uncertainty and existential/spiritual crisis be as vivid without the predominance of high-tech machinery and bizarre, mystical imagery? Would The End of Evangelion be nearly as fantastic and mind-blowing a film if it did not feature the literal end of the world?

Tarnsman wrote:Furthermore, I don't think it's fair to look at this adaptation any different from the various spin off manga/games that completely change things.

I figured this point would come up sooner or later. See, the thing is I don't like those either. At all. Only in this case the stakes are higher because these movies would ostensibly be bringing Evangelion to audiences that have never even heard of it before, rather than peddling to a nation of fans by coasting off of their familiarity with the source material.
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Postby Tarnsman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:49 pm

View Original Postgatotsu911 wrote:Without the sci-fi plot, the characters would be practically inert. If Shinji didn't have the fate of the world thrust on his shoulders, he would just be a quiet, depressed teenager who doesn't say or do anything significant for the entire story. If Rei weren't an alien clone-girl suffering a very literal existential crisis, she would just be weird and boring. Which brings me to another point: plucked out of the context of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi plot and placed into the real world, the characters would seem excessively over-the-top. Their histrionics would be a hell of a lot harder to swallow if they weren't constantly placed in quite literally life-or-death situations. (You wouldn't want Evangelion to turn into American Beauty, would you?) They're fantastically written and fascinatingly multidimensional, for sure, but they're still anime characters. They need that larger-than-life setting for their slightly larger-than-life characterizations to feel at home.


But again, that larger-than-life feel does not translate well into live action. That's where the inherent problem is. Part of what makes anime work as a medium is that, as animation, it can get away with that. It's not bound to standard effects and performances. It would naturally have to be toned down, which would make it stick out against the more over-the-top setting and sci-fi backdrop. That or they forgo the characters and make a ridiculous action movie like you suggested.

I figured this point would come up sooner or later. See, the thing is I don't like those either. At all. Only in this case the stakes are higher because these movies would ostensibly be bringing Evangelion to audiences that have never even heard of it before.


I don't enjoy them either, but the point still stands. Even if the movie was great, it's not going to convince the majority of people to look beyond the movie. It will always be the adaptation. Furthermore, people overestimate how live action adaptations color people's opinion of the subject matter being adapted.

pure drama doomed to fail on account of lacking the context and raw, personal vision of the original.


Here is the real issue. If the adaptation is going to have any worth, it needs to have someone who can inject their own personal touch and create something special. Which, we'd be better off having someone make an original film inspired by Eva, instead someone trying to adapt Eva.
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Postby gatotsu911 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:59 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:But again, that larger-than-life feel does not translate well into live action. That's where the inherent problem is. Part of what makes anime work as a medium is that, as animation, it can get away with that.

My point is that it translates better into live-action sci-fi than it does into straight live-action drama. But I agree with you that Evangelion is very much much an "animated" anime. That is to say... it takes advantage of its medium in specific ways which would be very difficult, or maybe even impossible, to translate into live action. There are a few anime that I think would work great as live-action adaptations, but Evangelion is not one of them. I would not be disappointed if this film project were to fall through. That said, if it is going to be made, I am merely speculating on what would be the best way to make it.

Tarnsman wrote:I don't enjoy them either, but the point still stands. Even if the movie was great, it's not going to convince the majority of people to look beyond the movie. It will always be the adaptation. Furthermore, people overestimate how live action adaptations color people's opinion of the subject matter being adapted.

Not a direct response, but I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that sales of the Watchmen graphic novel surged to their highest point in years during the period leading up to the release of the Zack Snyder film adaptation in 2009. And I thought that film sucked, myself, as both an adaptation and a stand-alone work.

Tarnsman wrote:Here is the real issue. If the adaptation is going to have any worth, it needs to have someone who can inject their own personal touch and create something special. Which, we'd be better off having someone make an original film inspired by Eva, instead someone trying to adapt Eva.

Pretty much, yeah. But for the purposes of this discussion we're talking about a prospective Eva film, and the way(s) in which it could be made so as not to suck. Believe me, I don't envy whatever director might end up with this project. No matter what he does, he'll disappoint a lot of people.
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Postby Tarnsman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:15 pm

View Original Postgatotsu911 wrote:would not be disappointed if this film project were to fall through.


Neither would I. Frankly, I want to know who wants this project to happen.

That said, if it is going to be made, I am merely speculating on what would be the best way to make it.


Which is precisely why I would like to see the sci-fi aspect stripped out. Not because it's not important, but because we've had plenty of adaptations that focus too much on that aspect. I'd like to see one try and keep it interesting and unique as a character drama, having to work around losing such a key element.

As you said, without the sci-fi aspect, you do lose a lot of what makes Eva, Eva. I think someone trying to make Eva, while having to work around it inherently not being Eva, would be a more interesting and rewarding.The sci-fi aspect is there due to Anno's personal love for it, so maybe the live action director putting in his own personal theme could create something worthwhile. I guess it's because I have zero desire to see a live action adaptation, but I'd rather see an interesting experiment on if they could do X and still make it work, over going the standard sci-fi route.

Not a direct response, but I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that sales of the Watchmen graphic novel surged to their highest point in years during the period leading up to the release of the Zack Snyder film adaptation in 2009.


Again, it's the simple fact that it's being made that generates interest in the original, not the quality of the final product. That's why I can't bring myself to care about it more than I would something like Angelic Days.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:49 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:Which I found to make little to no sense, because I've seen those kind of Popsicles in the US. But as for the rest of your post, I agree that if you want to watch a Japanese story, you should watch a Japanese production, or at least a production with a Japanese cast and crew heavily involved; however I don't agree that Eva is any more Japanese than any other anime focusing on Japanese characters, nor are the themes and ideas simply restricted to Japanese culture.

Oh, I didn't mean to suggest that Evangelion was the most Japanese ever. Heck, there tons of animes that display much more modern and historic Japanese culture. And I'm not saying some of those elements in Evangelion arn't universal to other countries. I'm just saying that if the movie doesn't culrurally cater to whatever Hollywood thinks a 3rd grader would immediatly pick up on, Hollywood investors suddenly become less excited about pouring millions of dollars into that project.

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Postby symbv » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:50 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:I was joking, although School Days could probably be the greatest troll film ever made. I can see tons of people flocking to a teen-rom com, only to be greeted with copious fornication and murder.


I knew. It's just that what you said got me to think in a more serious direction -- School Days does not need expensive special effect so it could indeed work for indie film. The premise is unconventional enough. It may even turn out better than the anime by adding more insights to the characterization and relationship development.

For a Eva RL movie, once it is adapted it will never be the same as the anime, even if it is a full Japanese production made in Japan. I am sure to adjust to western taste, a lot more changes will be in place -- mecha change, world view change, character setting change etc, even if the sci-fi plot and the cast stay the same. We just need to brace ourselves for a different beast born -- thinking otherwise will just lead to disappointment and frustration.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:34 pm

Only hope for a SOLID Evangelion adaptation is for the thing to be a DIRECTOR DRIVEN affair. The FRANCHISE (no such thing as a single movie anymore it seems) would have to be made by a filmmaker with the clout & passion to pitch the project & get it into production. It would have to be handled from conception to production & finally, to release by a Filmmaker who truly CARES about Evangelion.

Otherwise you might as well just go watch Green Lantern or Bay's Transformers flicks again. So all production value & zero story, essentially.

If Evangelion is put into production by a studio the aim would be to create a easily marketable & merchandise heavy franchise. If we're being generous here, a script would first be fashioned up for an initial film that acts all as set up. It introduces the characters & sets the world of Tokyo III (New New NEW York?) in the most quick expositional way possible- i.e. lots of talk from some dude with a deep voice...maybe Hugo Weaving....

Next a release date is set (though let's be real, most Hollywood tentpoles set their release date long before a script is even outlined) & the film rushes to make that date. Upon release, if the film does well, sequels are immediately put into production & if the film doesn't do well (or you're Warner Brothers & refuse to accept Green Lantern is a massive flop) then your "Franchise" is a one-off deal. Hello, His Dark Materials, Eragon and Bryan Singer's Superman reboot.

With a studio pushed film, the goal is to make the release date above all else. The PRODUCT doesn't matter. The PROFITS do. In this case, you're pretty much playing a lame version of Russian Roulette. You're always bound to get a well-shot & pretty looking flick, & once in a while you might get a GOOD FILM (it happens, J.J. Abrams worked through the terrible Star Trek 2009 script to deliver a great work) but more often than not you'll get a TRON:Legacy- pretty but absolutely soulless. Eva, even in it's Rebuild version, is NOT soulless.

NOW with a director focused production you're dealing with the case where a filmmaker is heavily pushing for a specific VISION to hit the screen. Your chances of seeing a subpar work lessens significantly. The director is passionate enough to create the work for him. This is best exemplified by two recent examples of what every franchise (or adaptation) hopes to achieve:

1. Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
2. Christopher Nolan's Batman.

1. With LOTR, Peter Jackson was trying to do the impossible. Make a massive fantasy epic at a time when no one cared what the hell an Elf was. Do the research & you'll see for years he went all across Hollywood pitching the series to various studios & went through hundreds of rewrites (at one point the trilogy was a two-parter). After much MUCH deliberation Jackson achieved the impossible.
New Line put a $300 million fantasy trilogy into production with an unsafe director (Jackson was a known director but by no means was he a "moneymaker") & allowed him to make the series HIS WAY. Hence, the films shot under Jackson's watchful eye in New Zealand with his own crew. Far from the eye of Hollywood.
What we got were films that (even if you hate them) are greatly respectful.

2. Circa 2000 Warner Brothers had lost all faith in Batman. Their leading 90s franchise was dead- thank you Joel Schumacher. They knew the best way to reinvigorate the series was to go for a tone as far from the Batman Forever Credit Card as they could. They were willing to take a risk. After many failed concepts which included (but were not limited to) a gritty Schumacher entry featuring Scarecrow & Harley Quinn, a Batman Beyond adpation, an attempt at Superman Vs. Batman starring Josh Hartnett AND a wacko Darren Aronofsky pitch- they turned to Christopher Nolan. A nobody who'd only made some flick about a guy who lost his memory. BUT they trusted Nolan's ideas for where to take Batman & pretty much wrote him a blank check. What the fans got was Batman Begins. I wasn't the biggest fan of the film but come The Dark Knight I'm a huge fan. If Nolan is able to achieve the impossible & make the third entry not suck he'll be a legend. Warner Brothers has let his Batman universe be a director driven affair. They've allowed Nolan to make his side projects (only when you're directing one of the biggest franchises in the world could you call films like The Prestige & Inception "Side Projects").
Hopefully, Nolan can deliver his third Batman without studio intervention.

Two other superhero properties that really kicked into production thanks to their directors started out great but were hampered when the studio intervened on the following sequels. Sam Raimi's first two Spidermans are benchmarks of the subgenre & Jon Favreau's Iron Man is the only Marvel movie that tells a competent story & doesn't flat out suck. When these two franchises started out under the directors watchful eye they serviced the source material to tell a story. When the studio took over it was all about the FRANCHISE. Say what you want about them screwing over Venom I can promise you they made bank on the Venom toys that sold in 2007.

Martin Campbell didn't serve Green Lantern. He was hired (failed) to give Warner Brothers their first post Harry Potter franchise - the WB is panicked about losing Potter & with Nolan ENDING Batman next year their only "homegrown franchise" at the moment is Superman.

Michael Bay,meanwhile, came to Transformers just for the money- when he did the first film he openly admitted he had no clue what a "Optimus Prime" was & couldn't care less- and over three films he's just let his egocentric tendencies get more overblown.

Live Action Evangelion NEEDS a Filmmaker to push it into production in order for it to be an actual movie worth caring about. At the moment Evangelion (what matters in the vast namebrand that is) has always been an Anno driven affair. A huge reason the whole damn thing works is because Anno is telling a story above all else. If Eva is to work as a Hollywood feature it needs a director with a vision who cares because, let's face it, the second a Hollywood version is released THAT will become the face of Evangelion. Forever.
Until a filmmaker starts making the rounds for a Live Action Eva you should approach everything with a sense of bad news. A filmmaker will try to make a FILM, a producer will aim to make a PRODUCT.

Of course this can always backfire depending on the filmmaker. By expressing an interest in the original show, M. Night Shyamalan pretty much got The Last Airbender to become a reality. Look how well that came out.

Anywho, enough rambling. I'm sorry. I'm very passionate about their NOT being a Live Action Evangelion but there's a very good chance it will happen. Eventually. If it has to be done I want a great story above all else.

It's great to see Matt Greenfield finally admitted he's out of the picture. Greenfield's a nobody & the idea he could strong arm a Summer Tentpole that would have to cost north of $200 million into production has been a joke. This other guy won't make anything happen either- he's just as much of a nobody as Greenfield- but eventually some Industry member in the know will take notice of Evangelion.

...Maybe in 2013. On July 14. The day after Guillermo Del Toro's PACIFIC RIM is released. That flick is essentially Live Action Evangelion without calling itself Evangelion. Which, if you ask me, has always been the right way to approach this subject. Make a franchise inspired by Anno's universe that will have the freedom to go down new paths & not be tied to a name. But Hollywood loves a Name Brand above all else now. Ugh.

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Postby backseatjesus » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:27 am

I want to direct it, I really do. I would direct it for free, but I would only trust myself when I get a few films under my belt. I most likely won't though, which is very depressing to me because I know I'd put all my heart and soul into it while those actually involved with it won't give a shit about it.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:12 am

+1 to everything Gendo'sPapa said. I don't want Evangelion to be picked up by a studio out of desperation. That almost never works. Tim Burton even had to push to get Batman recognized by Warner Brothers to begin with before the studio could even begin desperately hiring Chris Nolan, a happy accident I will forever be grateful for. And Richard Donner had to push for Superman to be recognized by the same studio back in the 70's before the studio realized the concept was bankable.

View Original Postbackseatjesus wrote:I want to direct it, I really do. I would direct it for free, but I would only trust myself when I get a few films under my belt.

I trust myself to direct it, but I would NEVER EVER do it for free. I'm long since past the point of merely "loving the craft" when it comes to these things. (Unless it's just a short project I'm doing on my own.) Now I love being paid for the craft. And if I ever did decide to direct my own monster/kaiju/Evangelion film, I would do what del Toro is doing with Pacific Rim and just make up my own story and characters. I already have something in mind. Directing a live-action Evangelion for me would be like Andrew Adamson directing The Chronicles of Narnia, I'd be amazing with it at first, then slowly just fall off the ladder as the saga progressed and the studio would find their "yes man", who would turn Evangelion Unit 01 from being Yui into being Optimus Prime's distant cousin defending the world from organic, more evolved Decepticons. You know, because there's more to this than meets the eye, making the film "deep" and "complicated" with a "twist" while also tying it in with the other successful franchise of the decade.

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Postby Guyver Spawn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:52 pm

I hear that Greenfield is no longer involved which the project? Good since I got tried of him saying the same crap over and over for almost a decade. I still think the film is better off being made a Japanese film.

Seeing that very little people outside fan base knows about Evangelion, I doubt it will do well in the US. Look at recent films like Priest, it was based off of a manga that no one knew about and did poorly at the box office.
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Postby Tarnsman » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:53 pm

View Original PostGuyver Spawn wrote:I hear that Greenfield is no longer involved which the project? Good since I got tried of him saying the same crap over and over for almost a decade. I still think the film is better off being made a Japanese film.

Seeing that very little people outside fan base knows about Evangelion, I doubt it will do well in the US. Look at recent films like Priest, it was based off of a manga that no one knew about and did poorly at the box office.


Priest did bad because it was a piece of shit. That's what people don't understand. Make a good film and it won't matter if the source material was a child-pornography snuff film.
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Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:05 pm

srsly, Greenfield is a complete nobody, a never-was, ADV's successor is a faint ghost and will never have anything close to what ADV had ten or even five years ago
View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:I trust myself to direct it, but I would NEVER EVER do it for free.
Heath Ledger's Joker was right about one thing...

and like GP said, the only way live action Eva will ever work is if the director takes it srsly without studio or licensing crap being the primary driving force, and perhaps del Toro's Pacific Rim will be the closest thing
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Postby Reichu » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:28 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:let's face it, the second a Hollywood version is released THAT will become the face of Evangelion. Forever.

It will never go away.[/Mr. Plinkett]

As if economic and environmental projections didn't give me enough reasons to dread the remainder of my lifespan.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:16 pm


That's my personal business statement, right there! :nod:

View Original PostReichu wrote:As if economic and environmental projections didn't give me enough reasons to dread the remainder of my lifespan.

Ironically, the economic projections might be the very thing to push a Hollywood studio into buying the rights and making the film.

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Postby Reichu » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:40 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Ironically, the economic projections might be the very thing to push a Hollywood studio into buying the rights and making the film.

Now I'm curious. (Possibly because I live under a proverbial rock.) Could you elaborate a little?

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Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:18 am

^not that I speak for FFF4E, but methinks that he thinks the current licensing epidemic in Hollywood will push one studio to go after the rights of Evangelion
View Original PostReichu wrote:It will never go away.[/Mr. Plinkett]
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Postby cyharding » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:23 pm


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Postby BrikHaus » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:43 pm

View Original Postcyharding wrote:ADV sues Gainax over rights to live action movie. This ougtha tell us something.

That ADV is still delusional about trying to make a live action Evangelion?
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Postby Tarnsman » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:17 pm

ADV and Gainax signed a memorandum of agreement for the option to "at least three (3) live-action theatrical motion pictures, five (5) television programs and three (3) direct-to-video movies products (each, a “Project”)" on March 1, 2003

What the fuck am I reading!? Seriously? Five television programs, three theatrical movies, and three direct-to-video movies?
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Postby child of Lilith » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:34 pm

I thought ADV was dead?
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