The anime studio Khara posted on Twitter on Wednesday to formally deny a rumor — the rumor that Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time (Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban :||), the final movie in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, will be six hours long. The studio insists it won't be.
So yeah. Now we know.
But why did people even think the film would be six hours long in the first place? To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion television series on Sunday, Khara had posted a screenshot from the latest "dailies" footage check of the movie's last part, and the screenshot had a timecode of "05:59:50:00."
Khara explained on Wednesday that movie productions usually divide the parts of a movie into rolls (or reels). The beginning digits in the timecode signifies the roll number, so the beginning "05" in the screenshot's timecode does not indicate the fifth hour, but the fifth part of the movie.
The studio added that this timecode numbering system is a relic from the past, when the parts of movie were split across actual, physical film reel canisters. It is now the digital era, but it is difficult to work on and keep track of long runtimes, so movie productions still divide runtimes into rolls even now.
Khara noted that movie productions now work with video data on hard disks, instead of physical film reels. However, sound production and other teams in the production pipeline still divide their tasks on a movie by "rolls."
The studio illustrated its explanation with a photograph of an actual film reel canister for 1997's Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth movie. The canister's label lists it as the first of seven reels from the movie. (By the way, that movie clocked in at under two hours.)
Khara's original Twitter posts on Sunday did note that Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time's D-part, which is the final part of the movie, is unusually long at 41 minutes and 16 seconds before the end credits.
Hideaki Anno, the director of the original television anime, founded Studio Khara in 2006. He and the studio began producing a new tetralogy of movies titled Rebuild of Evangelion, which reinterprets the events in the original television series. The tetralogy began with Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone in 2007, followed by Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance and Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban :|| (Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time), the final movie, is currently in production, but delayed due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).