Studio Ghibli has become a beacon of pristine Japanese animation since its creation in 1985. The renowned company hasn’t released a feature film since 2014’s When Marnie Was There. But the wait for what comes next may be coming to a close soon. First reported on by i-D, Ghibli is currently working on two new feature films. And one of them comes from Oscar-winning director (and Ghibli co-founder) Hayao Miyazaki.
During their annual New Year’s message, Ghibli gave several updates on projects in the works. One such update was in regards to a Ghibli amusement park, set to open in Nagakute City in 2022. Another was for a kabuki stage rendition of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Then there was news of their two features in production. Not much is known about the second, but the first is something to be excited about.
Hayao Miyazaki retired soon after the release of his last feature, 2013’s The Wind Rises. He came out of retirement in 2016 and released the short Boro the Caterpillar in 2018. As a co-founder, he’s always been one of Ghibli’s most revered auteurs. He won an Oscar for 2001’s Spirited Away. But he’s also responsible for other classics like Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Miyazaki’s next project is called How Do You Live? and is based on a 1937 novel by Genzaburō Yoshino. It will be a coming-of-age fantasy about a 15-year-old boy named Koperu. So it sounds like Miyazaki’s bread and butter.
This project has been in development for quite some time. But Ghibli (and namely Miyazaki) are famous for taking as much time as necessary to make sure a project is complete. Ghibli had planned to release Miyazaki’s latest before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. But producer Toshio Suzuki now thinks it will release sometime between 2021 and 2022. It seems like we’ll be waiting for a while to see this one. But just like the rest of Miyazaki’s beloved works, it will undoubtedly be worth the wait.