Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki Reveals His 'Final' Film's Title, Release Window
posted on by Egan Loo
Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki revealed on Saturday the title and expected timeframe for completion of his latest film. The director expects that it will take three to four years to complete his Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?) 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.
Miyazaki's last film, 2013's The Wind Rises, also derived its title as a homage to a literary work, Tatsuo Hori's novel The Wind Has Risen (Kaze Tachinu) — which is itself an apparent homage to a line in Paul Valéry's poem "Le Cimetière Marin."
Miyazaki talked about his latest film at an event to commemorate this year's opening of the Natsume Soseki Memorial Museum at Tokyo's Waseda University. He spoke in a talk with writer Kazutoshi Handō before an audience of 1,000.
In the Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki) special that aired last November, Miyazaki reported that he wants to return to making an anime feature film after his upcoming "Kemushi no Boro" short for the Ghibli Museum. 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 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.
The November television special showed the feature film's proposed schedule, in which Miyazaki suggested that the film could be done by 2019 — before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. However, Suzuki stated in April that this proposed schedule is simply impossible.
Suzuki demurred from revealing the feature's title before, saying, "I can't tell you." When asked if Miyazaki can finish the film while the director is still alive, Suzuki replied, "Hmm, I don't know." Suzuki had commented in the television special that Miyazaki would draw storyboards until he dies, and another staffer dryly noted that this would make the movie a huge hit.
In May, Ghibli posted a job recruitment notice for animators on "director Hayao Miyazaki's final feature animation film," and noted that the three-year employment contracts, which started on October 1, are subject to change or extension.
Suzuki previously stated that Miyazaki's planned "Kemushi no Boro" (Boro the Caterpillar) CG short would debut at the Ghibli Musuem in July. However, the short is not listed among the museum's upcoming shorts for the next two months, and thus will not debut before December.
Miyazaki rose to prominence in the 1970s on such television anime series as Lupin III, Future Boy Conan, and Sherlock Hound. He directed his first feature film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, in 1979. He then adapted the beginning of his Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga into an anime film in 1984, before he and fellow director Isao Takahata founded Studio Ghibli.
With Ghibli, Miyazaki helmed the feature films Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and most recently, 2013's The Wind Rises. He also co-produced Takahata's directorial efforts and directed smaller projects such as the "experimental film" On Your Mark and Ghibli Museum Shorts such as Mei and the Kitten Bus and Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess.
Spirited Away, which opened in 2001, remains the highest-earning film ever at the Japanese box office. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2003.
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