Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki revealed during a promotional event for his non-fiction book Minami no Kuni no Kanyada on Sunday that Hayao Miyazaki‘s upcoming Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) feature film will open in “about three or four years.” Suzuki also noted that the film has been in production for two years, and that the studio is doing things in the film that it could not do before.
Miyazaki himself had stated last October that he would need three or four years to complete his action-adventure fantasy film. Miyazaki derived the film’s title from writer Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 masterpiece of the same name. He added that this book is a story that has great meaning to the protagonist of his film. Yoshino’s book centers around a man named Koperu and his uncle, and through Koperu’s spiritual growth, it discusses how to live as human beings.
In the Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki) special that aired in November 2016, Miyazaki reported that he wanted to return to making an anime feature film after his “Kemushi no Boro” short for the Ghibli Museum (which debuted on March 21). According to the special, Miyazaki was not satisfied with doing just the CG short, and he presented a project proposal for a feature-length film in August 2016.
Despite not officially receiving a green-light for the feature film at the time, Miyazaki decided to start animation work on the project anyway. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki reported in April 2017 that Miyazaki has been drawing the storyboards for the project since July 2016. However, Suzuki said at the time that Miyazaki has only drawn 20 minutes of storyboards so far.
Suzuki serialized his non-fiction book in Shogakukan‘s Josei Seven magazine from March 2017 to this past January. The book centers on Kanyada, a Thai woman that Suzuki met by coincidence in an elevator.