Miyazaki Considers Porco Rosso Film Sequel (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
In the September issue of Cut magazine, director Hayao Miyazaki revealed that he is considering a film of his "Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie" concept — although this hypothetical film will not be made, if at all, until after Ghibli's next film at the earliest. The current issue of Rockin'On's Cut shipped on Thursday with a 20,000-character interview with Miyazaki, as well as interviews with his longtime Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, this summer's The Borrowers (Karigurashi no Arrietty) director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (a.k.a. "Maro"), and young voice actor Ryunosuke Kamiki (The Borrowers' Sho).
In his interview, Miyazaki discussed his studio's plans for releasing two films in the three years after 2008's Ponyo film, as first revealed on the studio's official website. Both films have relatively new directors; the first of those film projects became this summer's The Borrowers.
Had The Borrowers not been a success, Suzuki was considering downsizing Ghibli to just five staff members. This smaller hypothetical Ghibli would not make any more films, and just handle the copyrights for the studio's existing works. (The Borrowers earned almost US$75 million in Japan as of last weekend.)
The next Ghibli film by a young director has a girl as the leading character, and Suzuki suggested that Miyazaki can make a film after that one as a "hobby." Miyazaki wants to make "Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie," his previously introduced sequel idea which would be set during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Miyazaki's first Porco Rosso film was set between World War I and World War II.
The July 2009 issue of Model Graphix magazine described the "Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie" concept in which the title character pilots a Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 bomber from Italy. Miyazaki drew an irregularly serialized collection of manga and graphical essays called Zassō Note (Daydream Data Notes) in the same magazine from 1984 to 1992. Viz republished "Hikōtei Jidai" (The Age of the Flying Boat), Zassō Note's 1990 prototype manga story for Miyazaki's Porco Rosso film, in English in Animerica Magazine.
Miyazaki previously directed Ghibli Museum's "Mei to Konekobasu" short, an unofficial 2003 continuation of his My Neighbor Totoro film classic (1988). Hiroyuki Morita directed 2002's The Cat Returns, Ghibli's film based on Aoi Hiiragi's Baron: The Cat Returns companion manga to her Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo Sumaseba) manga (1989). The Whisper of the Heart manga inspired Yoshifumi Kondô and Ghibli's 1995 film of the same name. Hiiragi herself drew a direct manga sequel called Mimi wo Sumaseba: Shiawase na Jikan in 1995.
Also in 1995, a live-action television special was made of Umi ga Kikoeru II: Ai ga Aru kara, the sequel book to Saeko Himuro's Umi ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves) novel. Tomomi Mochizuki oversaw an anime adaptation of Ocean Waves at Ghibli in 1993, but neither Mochizuki nor Ghibli was involved in the live-action sequel.
Kamiki, another one of the interviewees in Cut, has the unusual distinction of starring as a voice actor in at least four Ghibli works (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Hoshi wo Katta Hi, The Borrowers) — and he just turned 17 in May. He also had lead roles in the Doraemon: Nobita no Kyoryu  remake, The Piano Forest, and Summer Wars.
Update: Studio Ghibli's publishing department re-issued Chizuru Takahashi and Tetsurō Sayama's Kokuriko-Zaka kara shōjo manga with a new wraparound jacket band that says that "Hayao Miyazaki recommends this!" Ghibli's sales blurb adds that the studio is currently looking into whether the shōjo manga can be made into a movie. Thanks, toru.
Update: Cinema Today reemphasizes, despite American news reports, that Miyazaki was considering, not developing, a film sequel as a "hobby," and not as Ghibli's next film. [Via Ain't It Cool News Anime]
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