Hayao Miyazaki's Next Feature Film Is Still 2-3 Years Away

This is an old news post, but bears repeating as there has been very few updates in the past year. As we all know, Hayao Miyazaki returned from his "retirement" to create one more animated feature with Studio Ghibli. Titled "How Do You Live," this movie is based on a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino.

While originally planned for a theatrical release in time for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, the extremely slow production schedule has pushed back that date to 2021 or even 2022. As always, Miyazaki is drawing the storyboards himself, and animation is reportedly progressing at the pace of one minute per month (I'm still trying to find the source on that).

The pace of this production is far slower than in the past, owing greatly to Miyazaki's age (now 78) and reduced work schedule. Studio Ghibli has also had to completely hire a new staff of artists and animators, since the disbanded its animation teams in the wake of Miyazaki's retirement. Many of the biggest names such as Kazuo Oga, Yoshiyuki Momose and Katsuya Kondo have moved on to other projects and studios, most notably Studio Kajino.

For these reasons, we should not expect to see the new movie for another two or three years. Progress is being made slowly but consistently. The greatest challenge, of course, is time, as last year's passing of Isao Takahata makes all too clear. Let us hope and pray that Miyazaki-san will stay in good health long enough to complete this final work.

Western Ghibli fans should also be aware that Miyazaki's new movie will not be a fantasy in the style of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away or Ponyo, but will be a "realistic" story similar in style to The Wind Rises. Don't let the Harry Potter-ish illustration above fool you. In any event, expect one last brilliant masterwork from the sensei.

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