Author: Tiffany Grant
Source: Tiffany Grant's Homepage
Dated: May 17, 2004
As you can imagine, I have received a large number of questions inquiring about various aspects of the announced live-action Evangelion movie. As I answered each question, I would add on to my earlier response, which is how I came up with this "article" on the subject. I hope this will address your concerns.
First off, there are 26 TV episodes and two movies in the Eva library (not to mention the as yet unfinished manga series by co-creator Sadamoto). The first goal is to produce a movie that encapsulates the most important elements of the early part of the series so that the viewer will not have to have seen the aforementioned 15 or so hours of video, and still leave room for one or two (maybe more?) follow up films that can finish off the story.
The movie is being produced jointly by Gainax (of course), ADV and WETA. If you are somehow NOT familiar with the WETA Workshop, this is the incredible studio founded by Peter Jackson in New Zealand that created the Lord of the Rings films - for which they just won an unprecedented number of Academy awards in a clean sweep of all categories in which they were nominated. By watching the fantastic documentaries on the LOTR DVDs, you can get an excellent idea of the kind of attention to detail that this group gives to everything they do.
Also, if you have read the LOTR, I think you will see that the characters in that iconic tome have been very faithfully brought to life. In fact, in a film adaptation of the second most read book in the English language (the Bible is the first), it is pretty well unanimously agreed that WETA got it exactly right. Bearing that in mind, I have every reason to have confidence that the same folks who hand glued every hair on each hobbit foot, will do a spectacular job with our NGE heroes.
Keep in mind that WETA will not be doing this in a vacuum either, as they will be supervised by people at both Gainax and ADV (such as my husband, of course).
As for the "slug" names used in the preliminary script(NOT the final version!!!) which appear on the production drawings, they are only used so as not to refer to them as "Pilot A" and "Captain B" etc. As has been widely discussed, the cast will be international, and mostly of European descent. Meaning, for example, if Daniel Radcliffe (Anime Insider's suggestion - NOT mine!) were to play the lead male role, it would be pretty stupid to call an ENGLISH boy "Shinji." Therefore, "Kate Rose" for example is the name they are using for the designs is in place of "Pilot of 02" or whatever.
As no actors have yet been cast, the pre-production drawings are simply pictures that are drawn of imaginary people in place of having a headless body in a plug suit. The artists are trying to design what a real-life plug suit will look like, and it would seem easier to do (and better to look at!) if the person also has a head. Remember - we don't know what the suits are even made of! Rubber? Plastic? Leather? The sketches are part of the early costuming process, and I am quite certain that when a director is found, he or she will seek out the best people for the roles. It seems quite doubtful that they would try to find a person to match a drawing.
It may also be of interest to note that there is a genuine desire to cast kids of the right age to play the main roles - NOT 22 year-olds to "play younger." Therefore, it is difficult to speculate at this early stage on who will play these roles since it is not possible to tell right now when principal filming will begin.
The show is in VERY early stages of pre-production, so nothing is final yet. ADV was just trying to share a little Eva goodness with everyone by showing off some of the thousands of production drawings that have been produced. I think they are fabulous, personally, and I eagerly await each new development in the project.
I believe you can all rest easy knowing that the films will be everything and more that we ever thought they could be.