One of Hideaki Anno’s earliest gigs was animating the seminal God Warrior sequence in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Now, according to Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, he’s interested in making a live-action film.
Considering how Anno has been working on a handful of feature films of late, including Shin Godzilla, Shin Ultraman, and the recently announced Shin Kamen Rider, that’s not too surprising.
As RBB Today reports, on a recent appearance on the Japanese talk show Bokura no Jidai, the topic of a live-action Nausicaä came up. Actor Hidetaka Yoshioka said that director Takashi Yamazaki (Always: Sunset on Third Street) has always said he wants to do a live-action version.
“I’ve heard that from him,” Suzuki replied, “and I’ve always said that’s a no go.” Continuing, he added, “Hideaki Anno also is saying he wants to make it.”
The other guest, musician Aimyon, said, “Everyone wants to make [a live-action version].”
“The one person that doesn’t,” Suzuki said, “is Hayao Miyazaki.”
Hayao Miyazaki adapted his own 1982 manga for the animated Nausicaä feature two years later. While not technically a Studio Ghibli film (the studio wasn’t founded until 1985), it is now considered a default member of the Ghibli catalog.
Over the years, Studio Ghibli has gotten numerous requests to make a live-action version. It allowed a kabuki adaptation but hasn’t greenlit a movie version.
“For Miyazaki, out of all the various works he’s done, Nausicaä is the most important,” Suzuki previously said in 2019. “There had been various requests to do a live-action version, even from Hollywood. He turned them all down.” It certainly sounds like Miyazaki is still not interested in an adaptation, but Anno isn’t just some dude hoping to make a Nausicaä live-action movie. He was an important part of bringing the original film to life.
This isn’t the first time that Suzuki has discussed Anno’s desire to return to the seminal film. Back in 2013, Suzuki wrote about the relationship between Miyazaki and Anno in the publication Bungei Shunjuu. Anno, then a dropout from the Osaka University of the Arts, was hired to work on the Nausicaä anime. As previously mentioned, Anno was in charge of the film’s climax, when the God Warrior, a huge colossus, disintegrates. He worked on that 90-second scene for about three months, and Miyazaki, a hard man to please, was incredibly satisfied with the work. According to Suzuki, the final scene is more or less all Anno did on the picture.
“When I meet Anno, he sometimes tells me that he wants to create a sequel to Nausicaä,” Suzuki wrote at the time. “He considers Evangelion a continuation of Nausicaä, done in his own way. It’s amazing how much he was influenced by Nausicaä. Those short three months he spent at our office ended up defining everything about him.”
This is why Anno been strongly interested in doing stuff with Nausicaä for years. Considering how he still has Shin Kamen Rider on deck, it could be a while until he gets to Nausicaä,if Miyazaki ever (that’s a big if!) relents. But if anyone should make a live-action film version, it’s probably Anno.