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Ghibli Producer: Hayao Miyazaki's 'How Do You Live?' Film's Animation Is Half Finished

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Studio Ghibli also has another film in the works

U.K. print film magazine Sight & Sound published on March 1 an interview with Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki in its April 2021 issue, in which he confirmed that the animation for Hayao Miyazaki's next feature film, Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?), is half-finished.

Suzuki had stated in an interview last December that the film's animation is half finished and that the film will be 125 minutes long.

In the Sight and Sound interview, Suzuki also stated that he does not expect the film to release for another three years.

The interviewer, journalist and author Alex Dudok de Wit, also stated that the studio "has another film in development, although no details have been announced," and that the studio "may be facing a changing of the guard." Suzuki had also stated in December that another film was in the works.

The interview also reveals that Hayao Miyazaki wanted to direct Earwig and the Witch, Goro Miyazaki's anime adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones' novel of the same name, but that Suzuki persuaded him to continue directing How Do You Live? instead. Suzuki further stated that he persuaded Goro Miyazaki to use 3D CG instead of the cel-shading CG he used in Ronja the Robber's Daughter.

Suzuki explained that with both Miyazakis working on different films at the same time, the studio "found itself split into two camps: 'Team Hayao' and 'Team Goro.'" Suzuki added he "felt that Team Goro was better" as it had "younger and more talented people on the team." The team under Goro Miyazaki was also more international.

Suzuki added in the interview that he agrees with Goro Miyazaki, who stated to the press the studio should continue with both hand-drawn 2D films as well as 3D CG films.

Suzuki previously reported in December 2019 that the How Do You Live? film was about 15% complete at the end of October 2019, after three and a half years of production. Suzuki then stated in May 2020 that staff had completed 36 minutes of the movie.

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.

Earwig and the Witch, Studio Ghibli's first CG feature, will open in theaters in Japan on April 29, after it premiered on Japanese television through NHK General on December 30. The theatrical version is adding some new footage, and some participating theaters will present the feature in Dolby Cinema.

Goro Miyazaki directed the anime as the studio's first full 3D CG feature, and his father and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is credited for the movie's planning and development. Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki produced the film. French distributor Wild Bunch International is serving as the feature's international sales agent.

GKIDS and Fathom Events began screening the film in 430 theaters in the United States on February 3. The film ranked at #11 in the United States in its opening weekend, earning US$99,941 for a total of US$132,768. HBO Max began streaming the film on February 5 in the U.S. The theatrical run qualified the film for the Oscars.

Source: Sight & Sound magazine's April issue (Alex Dudok de Wit)

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