Mamoru Hosoda's Belle Will Have U.K. Cinema Release in Early 2022
posted on by Andrew Osmond
The film had its world premiere at the Cannes film festival on Thursday July 16 and was released in Japanese cinemas on the following day.
Chizu describes the story:
Our protagonist, Suzu, is a 17-year old high school girl, who lives in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture with her father, after losing her mother at a young age.
She loves singing with her mother more than anything else, but as a result of her mother's death was no longer able to sing.
It wasn't long before she and her father grew more and more distant from each other, and Suzu closed her heart to the rest of the world.
When Suzu felt that writing music was her only purpose left in life, she then discovers the massive online space known as “U,” where she takes on her persona, BELLE.
Another me. Another reality. We are no longer limited to a single world.
Suzu quickly realizes that when she is inside “U” as her avatar, BELLE, she can sing quite naturally. As she continues to showcase her own music in the virtual world, she fast becomes the rising star of “U.”
Nonetheless, that surprise is short-lived. Suddenly, a mysterious dragon-shaped creature appears before her...
Singer-songwriter Kaho Nakamura will play the protagonist Suzu/Belle. Nakamura will also sing in the film.
Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars,The Boy and The Beast, Mirai) directed and scripted the film, and is also credited for the original work. The film marks Studio Chizu's 10th anniversary. Taisei Iwasaki (Blood Blockade Battlefront, Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan, The Naked Director) was the film's music director and composer.
Eric Wong, a London-based architect and designer, created the concept artwork for the film's online world of U. According to Chizu, "Hosoda personally found and commissioned Eric to come up with this universal and international "internet space" from both an architectural and design perspective."
Jin Kim (Frozen, Tangled, Big Hero 6, Moana) designed the titular protagonist Belle. According to Chizu, "Mamoru Hosoda and Jin have long respected each other's work but met for the first time when Mirai was nominated for an Oscar in Los Angeles. There, they promised to one day work on something creatively together and finally realized that goal with BELLE."
Studio Chizu's previously announced that the film would portray an "ever-evolving online world" that takes place in an online world called "U," which has 5 billion registered users. Studio Chizu mentioned Hosoda's past films where virtual words play a key role, such as Digimon Adventure: Children's War Game and Summer Wars, as similar titles of exploring modern society, but based on the director's "recent insights." The studio specifically mentioned themes of "coming of age, family ties, love between parents and children, friendship that transcends species, the links between our lives."