It's been a long road since the Rebuild of Evangelion project was announced. Over a decade, in fact. While three of the films have seen release, all has been quiet on the Eastern front for a few years regarding the final film.
After that long period of silence, followed by some half-confirmations by series mastermind Hideaki Anno, an animator has finally confirmed work is being done on the fourth and final Rebuild project.
"We're actually working on the new Evangelion film right now," Takeshi Honda told UK Anime Network in an interview. "We're working hard and it'll come out eventually, so thanks for all of your patience - please continue to be patient, because it's going to be the last episode."
At another point in the interview, Honda expressed frustration at getting older and Evangelion still not being completed.
"I'm older now and I can't really do too much drawing with complicated lines as that's now physically very hard, so I'm just hoping for Evangelion to end properly before I retire!"
The whole interview is pretty eye-opening and interesting, especially in regards to how the anime industry has changed over Honda's career, and is well worth a read.
However, it's a pretty big takeaway that Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 is officially in the production stage. Anno has teased it for a long while, and some doubts were cast on the project when he ended up at the helm of this year's Shin Godzilla. It's good to know that the project is definitively underway, and one would assume that Anno will retain his role as a secondary director for this last project.
It's been a crazy twenty-year journey, full of non-endings and a perpetually angry fanbase, but it looks like Neon Genesis Evangelion may finally be in the home stretch. Without a doubt in this writer's mind, the climax will likely be the source of healthy debate and heated forum wars for years to come.