Pandemic delays film’s release, so just keep telling yourself “I mustn’t go to the theater. I mustn’t go to the theater.”

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021 was an emotional blow to the sporting community, with athletes and competitors having waited four years for the spectacle of the highest level of international competition. However, there’s something anime fans have been waiting even longer to see, and it now turns out they’re going to have to wait longer still.

In 2007, anime director Hideaki Anno launched the Rebuild of Evangelion project, an ambitious retelling/reboot/sequel (no one’s really sure exactly which yet) of/to his groundbreaking Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series. Planned for four parts, Rebuild’s second theatrical feature hit theaters in 2009 and the third film in 2012, and since then it’s been eight years of waiting. To put that in perspective, the absolute newest Evangelion movie is roughly as old as Marvel’s first Avengers film, and older by several years than the entire Star Wars sequel trilogy.

But the wait was finally going to be over, with the fourth and supposedly final Rebuild of Evangelion movie scheduled to open in Japan on June 27, and steady progress being made on the voice recording. In the sort of painful twist that’s become Eva’s calling card, though, things aren’t going as well as planned, and the movie has now been postponed due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

A statement, posted both to the movie’s website and through the official Evangelion Twitter account, says:

“Before anything else, we wish to express our deepest sympathies to all those who have been infected by the new-type coronavirus (COVID-19).

We had been planning to release the Rebuild of Evangelion theatrical feature on June 27. However, after careful and thorough consideration of the unprecedented conditions brought about by the virus, both in Japan and abroad, we have decided to postpone the movie’s opening.

We have been making the utmost effort to deliver the film to audiences by June 27, and apologize sincerely to all those who had been looking forward to it.”

▼ Well, looks like it’s back to watching the teaser again….

The statement doesn’t specify whether the decision is a consequence of coronavirus countermeasures, such as telecommuting, impeding the progress of the film towards completion, or out of consideration to the public health and financial risks of releasing the film to theaters when not just Tokyo, but all of Japan has been declared by the government to be under an official state of emergency. In all likelihood, all of those factors contributed to the decision, and the statement ends with Anno’s Studio Khara, Evangelion’s rights holder, saying:

“We look forward to the day when people all over the world can once again enjoy movies, and we will continue working hard to create interesting animation for people around the world, and hope for your understanding.”

Unfortunately, Khara has yet to offer even a tentative window as to when it thinks the fourth Rebuild movie will be released. Still, not always getting what you want, and learning to accept that, is a pretty major theme in Eva, and if it’s any consolation, the release date for those weird new Evangelion Tamagotchis is still holding firm at July 13.

Source: Evangelion official website via Jin
Top image: ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!