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Shin Ultraman's Shinji Higuchi Sees No Reason To Return To Attack On Titan - Exclusive

Shinji Higuchi's two most recent films as director, "Shin Ultraman" and "Shin Godzilla," have earned widespread critical praise for creatively reimagining classic sci-fi properties with involving drama, clever humor, and great special effects action. His two directing credits immediately before these "Shin" films, however, were much more divisive: the two live action "Attack on Titan" movies from 2015. Critics were mixed on both films, with the special effects mostly praised but the characterization heavily criticized. Responses from fans of the original "Attack on Titan" manga and its anime adaptation were even harsher due to the looseness of the adaptation.

The live action "Attack on Titan" films came out six years before the manga ended, so the attempt to make the films work as a self-contained story naturally led to a different conclusion. The manga conclusion was not without its own controversy, but one wonders how a live action "Attack on Titan" movie series would be handled today with the full original story to work with. Looper got the change to speak to Shinji Higuchi for an exclusive interview at the Canadian premiere of "Shin Ultraman" at the Fantasia International Film Festival 2022, and we asked him if he'd have approached "Attack on Titan" differently if he were to revisit the series today.

Does Shini Higuchi regret his Attack on Titan films?

While acknowledging the translation might have affected the tone of his response, Higuchi's answer to the question of whether or not he'd have handled the "Attack on Titan" story differently today than he did in 2015 seemed to be a mix of confusion and annoyance, stating, "I'm not sure because I've never thought of it that way. I've never thought of that. Right now, I don't see a reason or justification for making that manga into a movie, so I can't really answer that."

It's not clear whether Higuchi meant that there's no justification to think about doing an "Attack on Titan" movie today because it's already been adapted so many times already, or if he's saying that he doesn't think the manga made sense for doing big screen live-action adaptations to begin with. It is clear that, with the exception of returning to help Hideaki Anno on multiple "Neon Genesis Evangelion" sequels and remakes, Higuchi does not seem to prioritize revisiting past projects and prefers to move forward. 

He answered similarly about the possibility of crossover films with the Shin Japan Heroes Universe characters, saying that "one movie for one character" is enough.

International release plans for "Shin Ultraman" have yet to be announced.