FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ADV FILMS ANNOUNCES LIVE-ACTION THEATRICAL VERSION OF JAPANESE ANIMATED TITLE NEON GENESIS EVANGELION; VISUAL EFFECTS BY LORD OF THE RINGS STUDIO WETA WORKSHOP LTD.
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL JAPANESE ANIMATED SERIES IN MODERN TIMES TO COME TO LIFE AS A FEATURE FILM
CANNES, FRANCE, 19 May 2003In an announcement sure to make waves in the entertainment industry, ADV Films President and CEO John Ledford today publicly confirmed industry rumors that the firm has acquired the rights to produce, and has already begun development of, a live-action feature-film based on the Japanese animated television series Neon Genesis Evangelion, a multi-million dollar worldwide franchise and perhaps the most influential anime title in the history of the art form. The project is a collaboration between ADV Films, Gainax and Weta Workshop, Ltd.
ADV Films is the leading producer-distributor of Japanese animation in North America. The Japanese anime and game studio Gainax Network Systems was one of the original production studios responsible for Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Weta Workshop, Ltd. is the New Zealand-based special effects studio that created the effects for Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The three main players here represent something of a dream-team for a project like this one, said Ledford. Between the quality and significance of the Gainax title, Wetas industry-leading skill in the creation of special visual effects, and our expertise in the marketing and promotion of anime and anime-related content, this project is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is the story of a reluctant young hero, called upon to pilot an immense robotic weapon in battle against alien invaders. Including both a 26-episode television series and at least two animated motion pictures, Neon Genesis Evangelion has long been both a fan favorite and an extraordinary critical and commercial success, with the worldwide franchise producing many millions of dollars in revenue.
The Neon Genesis Evangelion live-action motion picture is in the earliest stages of development. Ledford confirmed, however, that the timetable is an aggressive one, and that more information on the project is forthcoming.
About Weta Workshop, Ltd
Founded in 1987 by Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger, Peter Jackson and Jamie Selkirk, Weta is a physical and digital effects company providing creatures, special make-up effects, prosthetics, miniatures, armor, weaponry and digital effects for the film and television industry. Over the past sixteen years the company has provided effects for Jacksons Meet the Feebles, Braindead (aka Dead Alive), Heavenly Creatures, The Frighteners, and The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, as well as for advertisements and television shows including the popular Hercules and Xena series. At the height of production on The Lord of the Rings, Weta Workshop employed 150 physical effects technicians and 350 digital effects technicians at Weta Digital. Wetas work on The Lord of the Rings has garnered worldwide praise including two Academy Awards in 2002 (for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup), and one in 2003 (for Best Visual Effects). The British Academy has also honored Wetas work by awarding two BAFTAs in 2002 (for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup) and two more in 2003 (for Best Visual Effects and Best Costume).
Gainax was founded in 1984. It began as a corps of amateur filmmakers, centered around current company president Hiroyuki Yamaga and anime director Hideaki Anno. Their first work, Wings of Honneamise, continues to garner praise worldwide. Gainaxs highly original style of filmmaking spans the generations, appealing to fans both young and old. 1995s Neon Genesis Evangelion whipped up an anime fever of extraordinary proportions, receiving attention not only from anime fans, but also from many other corners of society. Hideaki Anno, who directed Neon Genesis Evangelion, commands respect from even the likes of Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki.
About ADV Films:
In 1992, ADV Films began to forge the international market for Japanese animation (anime) by combining unique titles, outstanding production values and efficient large-scale distribution. Today, ADV Films is the #1 producer-distributor of Japanese animation to the North American market, with the firms holdings including such premier titles as NOIR, Sailor Moon, Samurai X, Hello Kittys Paradise, RahXephon, Spriggan, Robotech, Full Metal Panic and Neon Genesis Evangelion. In addition, ADV Films product line has expanded to include other forms of genre programming, including live-action science fiction programs Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Mutant X and The Jim Henson Companys Farscape, and classic science fiction such as the updated Gamera trilogy. ADV Films parent company, A.D. Vision, Inc., also publishes Newtype USA, the premier anime and manga monthly in the English-speaking world, and operates The Anime Network, broadcasting anime and anime-related programming via digital cable, 24 hours a day. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA, with additional offices in the EU and Japan, and distribution on four continents, ADV is fast becoming an international entertainment powerhouse.