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Studio Ghibli VP Junichi Nishioka: 'The Boy and the Heron is Not Hayao Miyazaki's Final Film'

posted on by Alex Mateo
Nishioka: "[Miyazaki] is already coming into the office with new ideas"

Reporter Eli Glasner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) posted on Twitter on Thursday that Studio Ghibli's vice president Junichi Nishioka told the company that "The Boy and the Heron is not [Hayao] Miyazaki's final film and that he is already coming into the office with new ideas."

CBC reported, "Other people say that this might be his last film, but he doesn't feel that way at all. He is currently working on ideas for a new film. He comes into his office every day and does that. This time, he's not going to announce his retirement at all. He's continuing working just as he has always done."

Miyazaki had declared in September 2013 that he was retiring from directing feature films. Miyazaki stated in 2019 that he really did want to retire after completing The Wind Rises in 2013, but added that he could not help but return to animating again.

Miyazaki's latest feature film The Boy and the Heron (Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka, or literally How Do You Live?) opened simultaneously on IMAX with its general release in Japan on July 14. It is the first Studio Ghibli film to get a simultaneous IMAX release, and it is also screening in Dolby Atmos, Dolby Cinema, and DTS:X. The movie earned more than Miyazaki's celebrated Academy Award-winning 2001 film Spirited Away in its first four days, and earned 50% more than his 2013 film The Wind Rises. The film exceeded US$1.7 million from 44 IMAX screens, which is a new three-day opening record, according to entertainment news website Deadline. The movie sold 1.003 million tickets and earned about US$13.2 million in its first three days in Japan. The film sold 1.353 million tickets and earned 2.149 billion yen (about US$15.53 million) in its Friday-Monday long weekend (July 17 was the Marine Day holiday in Japan).

GKIDS licensed the film, and it will screen it in North American theaters and IMAX on December 8 with special preview engagements on November 22. The New York Film Festival (NYFF) will screen the film's U.S. premiere as an Official Selection in the Spotlight selection. The 61st NYFF will take place from September 29-October 15.

The film had its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), as the event's opening film on Thursday at Roy Thomson Hall. This marks the first time the festival is opening with an animated film as well as the first time for a Japanese film. The San Sebastian Film Festival (SSIFF) will screen the European premiere in Donostia-San Sebastián's Kursaal Auditorium in Spain on September 22 after the event's opening gala. This will mark Miyazaki's fourth film to screen at SSIFF, and the first time his film is participating at the event's Official Selection. The festival is honoring Miyazaki with the Donostia Award for career achievement.

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 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.

Sources: Eli Glasner's Twitter account, CBC (Joseph Pugh)

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