The legendary Studio Ghibli filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is back at work on his next project – once again putting retirement talk to rest.
Last month at the Toronto International Film Festival, the vice president of Studio Ghibli – Junichi Nishioka – revealed to reporters while on the red carpet that legendary Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki might not be retiring after all. For months preceding this announcement, the narrative had been that the upcoming release of The Boy and the Heron would mark Miyazaki’s final film.
At the age of 82 and with several timeless films to his name, Miyazaki would certainly be entitled to call it a day, but the Spirited Away director isn’t finished yet. While promoting The Boy And The Heron in Europe (the movie that was expected to be his last), producer Toshio Suzuki told newspaper Liberation (via World of Reel) that, “He thinks about this new project every day, I can no longer stop him, I have given up on that. I’m no longer trying to dissuade him, even if it might be a bad film. In life, only work enchants him”.
He added that, “We spoke again earlier today … he started talking about this new project, so I’m not stopping him anymore. As long as he works I will not retire. He is 82 years old, I think he will continue until he is 90 years old and I’ll be going along with him for the ride”.
Along with The Boy And The Heron (which is set to arrive later this year) and Spirited Away, we have Miyazaki to thank for My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke. The fact that we’ll be getting at least one more Miyazaki film beyond The Boy And The Heron makes us feel rather fortunate indeed.
It remains to be seen how the news squares with the September announcement that Studio Ghibli – the animation house co-founded by Miyazaki, Suzuki and the late Isao Takahata – is to sell a controlling stake to the Japanese broadcasting company, Nippon Television. It’s likely that Miyazaki will simply keep working at the studio under its new ownership.
We’ll bring you a firm release date for The Boy And The Heron in the UK when we hear it. Elysian has picked the film up over here, so hopefully it won’t be too long to wait…
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