Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie - Hayao Miyazaki's Next Movie?

Is "Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie" the title of Hayao Miyazaki's next directorial feature film?  Rumors have been flying for a number of months, and I'm very reluctant to give much attention to them (especially when the gossip comes from Westerners).  However, three recent developments give rise to this new theory on a possible Porco Rosso sequel:

1) Toshio Suzuki mentioned a few months ago that Miyazaki-san was considering the idea of revisiting the Porco Rosso world, if not a direct sequel, then a spiritual cousin of sorts.  This story would revolve around the Adriadic air pilots between the two World Wars, or perhaps would take place before the original movie.  It wasn't determined if this story idea would become an animated film or short-form comic.

2)  In their recent interview with Arrietty director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the Guardian UK stated that the young director is now involved in Hayao Miyazaki's next film, a sequel to Porco Rosso.  I send an email asking for clarification and sources, but I haven't received a reply (perhaps they're busy with that Murdoch affair?).

3)  The IMdB has "Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie" listed as a 2012 release.

Studio Ghibli is famously tight-lipped about their projects, and we really only discover what's happening when they show us.  And right now, their major focus is Kokuriko.  Notice how Father Miyazaki is very often the public face of the studio's rollout.  They want Japan's goodwill to transfer to son Goro's new movie, especially in the shadow of the earthquake and nuclear disasters.  Even the Blu-Ray release of Mimi/Whisper is timed to coincide with Kokuriko's release.  I don't think we'll be hearing about Ghibli's next feature for a while.

Right now, I honestly don't know any more about "The Last Sortie" than any of you.  But I find the idea intriguing, particularly that subtitle, if for only this reason: Miyazaki-san has long used the pig character as his avatar, mostly in his color comics, and Marco the pilot was very much a self-portrait.  The Last Sortie for 70-year-old Miyazaki...hmm, interesting.

Heck, I'll just jump right out and say it: I think this next movie will be Hayao Miyazaki's final directorial feature film.  I've got a lot of reasons for this, and I'll have to explain myself in a future post.  But I'll just let you discuss the topic for now.


watkinzez said...

Two of those points are paper thin. Guardian did a google search and repeated the unsourced statements from elsewhere, and IMDB is user run and would have had you believe 50 Cent was to voice Epona in Zelda: Twilight Princess. It was a mistranslation that led to rumours still refusing to be squashed.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

I'm inclined to agree. But I wanted to bring up the topic and hear what people have to think.

I've also heard that Miyazaki wanted to make a "boy's adventure movie" next, so we'll see how closely the "Porco Rosso 2" meme hits the mark.

Helen91 said...

I have been wondering about this for a while. My little brother who knows nothing about ghibli told me and I was like "wahhh?" I can see why out of all of his films why he would choose this one to make a sequel for but after all these years?

Pablo said...

I agree with watkinzez, those sites aren't at all trustworthy when it comes to Studio Ghibli. I remeber reading that it wan't a movie,but a manga (was it here?).

Anyway, we'll probably have to wait to december.

JMS said...

Thank you Daniel for your great insight about Studio's Ghibli Future and Mr. Miyazaki plans.
I just want to comment something. I'm a big (huge and sick) fan of all those great japanese blu-ray editions, and one thing maybe we can be pretty sure is that the next HD edition of Ghibli's movies will be Porco Rosso.. and that will be awesome. (maybe we can have a hint in the back of the pamflet book inside the Whisper of The Heart Blu-ray (jp))

- Keep Rollin man.

Marco Bellano said...

Hello, I am an Italian reader of this interesting blog. It seems that The Last Sortie will be "just" a manga.

Rumors about a new Porco Rosso movie spread because of a poorly translated article from Cut magazine, which appeared on GhibliWiki.

Later, GhibliWiki clarified the misunderstanding (

However, there are really high chances that the next Ghibli film will be Hayao Miyazaki's. I too have the feeling that it will be his last full-length feature.

Old news mentioned Miyazaki thinking about "the tragic story of a boy".

Anonymous said...

I agree I think his next feature film will be his last as director, but because of that I could see him visiting Porco Rosso for source material - taking place in the same world, but perhaps not the same time, but maybe expand on Porco's mythology...

Even Nausiccaa seems like a sort-of sequel to Castle in the Sky since the squirrels lived on the floating Islands during and prior to Castle in the Sky, but in Naussicaa's world they are a VERY endangered species--but this could suggest that the films are like "cousins" because of the link...and we could then say the same thing about My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away since the dust sprites appear and bout are about spirits in general...

I Make Comments said...

I'd be absolutely thrilled to see another Porco Rosso film, assuming these rumors are true. I think that Porco Rosso is Miyazaki's most under-rated film in North America. I'd love to go back into that universe. And if it does just turn out to be a manga, I would hope that it would get a published English translation...

Heinz said...

And what happened with the next movie of Takahata: 'The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter'?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

@heinz: Paku-san is still working on his film project. I'm waaay behind on my blog report, but it's still in production and (very) slowly coming along.

Takahata has always worked at a slower pace than Miyazaki. In Starting Point, there's a chapter titled, "Takahata Isao is a Tree Sloth." It's a very funny essay by Miya-san, written during the production of Omohide Poro Poro.

Bamboo Cutter is still coming. When? I haven't a clue. Miya-san's next movie is due out in 2013 (it's a two-year production), so that leaves 2014 at the earliest. Ack!

Heinz said...

Thanks, Daniel, for your answer.

Kevin MacDougall said...

I wouldn't be surprised if a Porco sequel would be an attempt at retirement... Isn't that what the original film was? Miyazaki's first attempt to retire and begin passing the baton to his proteges?

Mononoke and Spirited Away were both hailed as "coming out of retirement" films in many circles.

I wouldn't be surprised if Miyazaki meant it this time, however.

Ambi Valent said...

Ghibli producer Suzuki apparently said Hayao Miyazaki is working on adapting an autobiography for his next movie.

At first I thought: What? Who greenlighted that? Why would anyone go into a cinema to watch an adapted autobiography?

Then I tried to think of people whose lives might make a good story. But since it's an autobiography, it couldn't be about Sadako Sasaki, for example.

Finally I thought about the movie containing Ghibli themes, and then it struck me. I hope I'm wrong, though, because I fear Miyazaki would get tarred and feathered for it.

beyond said...

@Ambi Valent
Hayao Miyazaki's latest manga Kaze Tachinu is Zero Fighter Jiro Horikoshi's autobiographical story.

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