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.