Production Begins On Miyazaki's Final Film

In the anime world, Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most well known creators in the industry. The director is one of the creative minds behind Studio Ghibli and the visionary behind films such legendary films such as Spirited Away. Known for his beautiful stories and magical animated worlds, Miyazaki has inspired new generations of artists and still works on projects during his on-and-off again retirement. Fans emotions have been toyed with the last couple of months as news of his return for a big film were unofficially announced, and many sources stated that it may not happen. But it looks like Miyazaki is officially back out of retirement and starting production on his 'final' film.

Today, Studio Ghibli posted a job recruitment notice for the new film. The notice was looking for animators on director for Hayao Miyazaki's "final" film. The legendary studio is hiring in-between animators and background artists for a three-year contract that will start October 1. The notice mentions several times that the upcoming film is "director Hayao Miyazaki's final feature animation film" because of his age. The director is 76 years old, and reportedly in and out of bad health. In the notice, it is stated that the three-year employment contract is subject to change. This is the first official acknowledgment from Studio Ghibli of the new film, and it looks like the studio plans on hitting it with full force.

Toshio Suzuki, a producer at Studio Ghibli, is the man who first teased press about Miyazaki’s return. After the Oscars, the executive reportedly told press members in Los Angeles that the iconic director was working on a new film. When Suzuki was asked if Miyazaki had revoked his retirement, here’s what the producer had to say: "No, I mean... OK, let me put it this way. He [Miyazaki] said he would not make any more and would retire. So even if he comes up with a new plan, he is still a retired man unless the film is actually made. That's what I am saying. I know I am making an unreasonable excuse. If he really starts working on production of his new film and finishes it, then we can say he is out of retirement.”

“To tell the truth, we need a lot of staff to make a feature film. But he is working by himself now, though he needs at least 600 people. That's his concern,” Suzuki continued. “If we really decide to make a new film, I will announce it officially, of course. We just have not reached that point yet. So if you ask me 'Will you make it?' now, I have to deny it. Because honestly, I have nothing to announce.”