The news came out a couple of months ago, but details are finally starting to emerge, so it's time to post. I know Joey's the only other one of my readers (AFAIK) that has seen the original Evangelion series, but I love it, so I'm gonna post about it. From the original press release:
When the shocking news first broke, it sent anime fans around the world into a frenzy: Neon Genesis Evangelion, widely regarded as one of the best anime series ever made, was being adapted into four brand-new films! Who would've ever thought we'd see another Evangelion?
Here's what I know:
The first 3 movies will be a "re-telling" of sorts of the first 23 episodes of the series. The final movie will be an all-new ending, hopefully clearing up at least some of the craziness of End of Evangelion. Speaking of crazy...
It’s going to be crazy. Crazy like the Eva that we love and hate. Apparently, Mr. Anno (the creator) is working full steam. He’s happy that he can finally recreate Eva “as he wanted it to be”, because he’s no longer limited by the technology of 12 years ago, ergo lots of 3D CG this time. In fact, it’s so crazy that you will need to watch the first movie at least 3 times to “get” it. (Or so they say.)--From DarkMirage
The first movie will revolve around the events covered in episode 6 of the TV series, basically Operation Yashima where Eva-01 takes down the angel with a positron rifle. That episode did not turn out the way Mr. Anno wanted it to, due to last-decade technical limitations, and he wants to make it right this time. Operation Yashima will be the climax of the first movie. Mr. Shinji Higuchi, the director of Sinking of Japan, will be in-charge of the Yashima portions of the movie.
"It'll be something viewers can enjoy if they've never seen the TV series," Otsuki continues. "I want everyone--from hardcore fans of the original work to people who only know it because of the licensed stuff--to look at it as a standalone film series.
The complexity has been somewhat lessened to make it more accesible to newbies, but it'll still take a bit of thought to understand." Otsuki adds that they're removing much of the deliberate obfuscation that made Eva infamous: "Filling works with difficult works and concepts in order to create confusion among viewers was a good technique 12 years ago, but not anymore, and one of our primary goals for this project is to turn everyone's expectations upside down."
The first movie comes out in 2007, with the others following later.
Note: This is not a series for the faint of heart. Extremely thougt-provoking, shocking, disturbing, and mind-bending, it takes a LOT of effort to grasp. I've watch the whole series 3 times, and done countless reading on the net on theories and discussion about Eva, and just now think I "get" enough of it to make watching it no longer a chore. I really hope these new movies add to the greatness that is Evangelion.