It was reported last week that acclaimed Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki is again coming out of retirement to work on a new feature. Miyazaki, now 76, announced his retirement from anime feature films in 2013, after directing his 10th feature Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, and has been working on his first CG short Kemushi no Boro/Boro the Caterpillar, which is scheduled to be screened exclusively at Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, sometime in 2017.
But as reported, he was already confirmed to start working on his new feature film in NHK’s 50-minute special documentary program “Owaranai Hito (NeverEnding Man) Miyazaki Hayao” aired on November 13, 2016.
After the Oscar ceremony on February 26, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, who reportedly revealed the news to American media at a pre-Oscars event in Los Angeles, talked about his real intention
to Japanese press. The meeting with the press was streamed on LINE LIVE and its transcription was
legitimately posted on logmi. He confirmed that Miyazaki actually has a plan for his new feature film now,
but it is still in the planning stage and nothing is ready.
Hirayama from Asahi Shimbun asked, “Judging from your remarks here, what you try to mean is that
Miyazaki has revoked his retirement, in a word?”
“No, I mean…(laugh) OK, let me put it this way. He (Miyazaki) said he would not make any more and
would retire. So even if he comes up with a new plan, he is still a retired man unless the film is actually
made. That’s what I am saying. I know I am making an unreasonable excuse. If he really starts working
on production of his new film and finishes it, then we can say he is out of retirement. To tell the truth,
we need a lot of staff to make a feature film. But he is working by himself now, though he needs at least
600 people. That’s his concern. If we really decide to make a new film, I will announce it officially, of
course. We just have not reached that point yet. So if you ask me ‘Will you make it?’ now, I have to
deny it. Because honestly, I have nothing to announce (laugh).”
After the commercial failure of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) and When Marnie Was There
(2014), Studio Ghibli didn’t renew the contract with most of its production staff members. Some of
the Witch’s Flower. “The 21st century edition of Kiki’s Delivery Service” (according to producer Yoshiaki
Nishimura) will be released in Japan on July 8, 2017.