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The Grudge's Shimizu Helms Live-Action Kiki's Delivery Service

posted on by Egan Loo
16-year-old Fūka Koshiba stars in film with no direct ties to Ghibli's anime

The Sports Hochi and Sports Nippon newspapers are reporting on Wednesday that Eiko Kadono's popular children's novel series Majo no Takkyūbin is getting its first live-action film next spring. 40-year-old Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge/Juon, Tomie: Rebirth) is directing.

16-year-old Fūka Koshiba is starring as the young witch Kiki, the character made famous by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's 1989 anime film adaptation Kiki's Delivery Service. The accomplished figure skater (she can perform the triple loop jump) was chosen from 35,390 candidates in the "Girls Audition 2011" competition. She then made her acting debut as the sister of actress Emi Takei (Rurouni Kenshin) in the 2012 television series Iki mo Dekinai Natsu. She was chosen from an audition of about 500 for Majo no Takkyūbin, her first film role.

The six novel volumes of Majo no Takkyūbin follow the coming of age of Kiki with her black cat Jiji. They have sold 1.8 million copies and have been translated into eight languages, including English, Italian, Chinese, Swedish, and Korean.

Despite the fact that both films adapt the same 1985-2009 novel series, this live-action film has no direct connection to the Ghibli anime film. The anime adapted the first novel volume, while the live-action film will cover the first two volumes. The website Twitch reported earlier this month that Shimizu is directing a live-action Kiki's Delivery Service film, but Ghibli denied it, saying, "We have nothing to do with it."

Annick Press published the first novel with an English translation by Lynne E. Riggs in 2003. That same year, Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Disney released Ghibli's film on DVD in North America.

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