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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Anime Hype: ADV Wrongfully Sues Gainax Over EVA Live Action

ADV Sues Gainax-

Sad article on how the former anime giant is suing Gainax over not allowing a live action movie. ADV says it could have pursued at least one option, but Gainax stopped production, which is just a farce. I think ADV was already feeling the anime bubble burst around the time of just the pre-production of the movie. I don't think there was even a script just sketches from the excellent Weta Workshop.

I remember reading about it online and different sites years ago. There are a few factors that make the case seem very sad to me.

-If Gainax was in anyway halting production Gainax was  protecting EVA from becoming something monstrous like so many other American remakes. It was protecting the quality of the franchise.

-ADV bringing up the case now, years after the movie was cancelled. That also means it might be one person who collects the money from this legal dispute. I believe only one person owns the rights to ADV, ADV is a defunct company that only owns licenses or may no loner own any, it no longer operates, so that money is for virtually one person and will not be used for anything anime related.

-It could hurt future Gainax releases.

The case might also open up some secrets about the proposed movie, but I doubt there's much. I don't think actors or even a director was picked and it might have been ADV trying to produce a movie as the company was failing.

ADV should lose big for having such a shaky case and just having some pre-production does not a movie make, maybe if they had started filming or there was some actors names listed. Will have to see.

Update: EVA Geeks.Org Forums has more info on the case and some great speculation on what might happen

from drinian

Oh, this is interesting.

Yes, ADV still exists as a legal entity. The new distribution company Sentai Filmworks was created basically to allow ADV's people to shed their debt (read: avoid paying it back) and start a new distribution company. However, ADV also has assets that apparently could not be transferred or sold, like the rights to produce a live-action Evangelion film.

In the lawsuit, ADV says that the contract gave them the right to purchase the rights to a live-action adaptation of Evangelion -- in perpetuity -- simply by giving Gainax $1,000,000 (What a bargain!). They had to do this by a specific date: February 28, 2010. Earlier in that month, ADV sent Gainax a check for $100,000, saying that they wished to purchase the rights and would send the rest as soon as Gainax sent them the IP. Gainax instead delayed, and then returned the $100,000, saying their contract was over.

View Original Post FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:

"Possible development"? Don't you have to either agree or not agree to something in a contract, and not be all cryptic about it with words like "possible"?

I'm sure you've heard of people "optioning" a book or screenplay to be made into a movie. That's exactly what this contract is. This give someone the right to produce a movie, provided they can come up with the funding to do it within a limited period of time. It gave ADV the right to shop around Hollywood for investors.

So, again, once the project had been launched, ADV would then have to make a payment to Gainax of $1,000,000 to own the perpetual rights to at least three Evangelion live-action films, as stated above. This is what ADV claims they were trying to do by sending a $100,000 down payment. Judging by the timing of that payment, it's more likely that ADV was trying to do whatever they could to hold on to that contract before its expiration date. Could they have come up with another $900,000? I don't know. But it does seem obvious that ADV knew Gainax had no desire to write a new contract with them for continued development of the live-action film, so that was the time to act.

I don't know who is in charge of ADV right now, but the company's main reason for existence is to recover as much money as possible for the company's creditors. And this sounds like a last-ditch effort to do so, by obtaining the still-valuable rights to live-action Evangelion. That they're asking for Gainax to pay court fees might indicate that they're broke, but I'm not a lawyer.

Legally speaking, it sounds like the outcome of the case will depend on whether ADV actually had the financing lined up to pay out the other $900,000 and begin production on LAE. If they have proof of this, it would back up Matt Greenfield's constant claims that things were happening on this project during the last few years -- and we'll finally get to hear it.