When it comes to anime, there are few names as big as Haya Miyazaki. The lauded director is one of the creative minds behind Studio Ghibli and the visionary behind films such as Spirited Away. Known for his whimsical stories and charming animation, Miyazaki has inspired new generations of artists and still works on projects during his on-and-off again retirement. Last week, fans of the artist grew excited when reports surfaced that Miyazaki had abandoned retirement all together to begin work on a new film.
However, it looks like those reports were a bit premature.
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. However, it seems information was lost in translation. After returning home, Suzuki spoke with Japanese press about the revelation, and the producer said Miyazaki does have plans for a new film but that everything else is in its infantile stages.
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.”
Of course, fans have a hunch about the title Miyazaki is attempting to get approved. Last year, the director talked about his dream to create a feature-length film Boro the Caterpillar. The story will get a short film adaptation thanks to Miyazaki exclusively for the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan, but the director said it was not enough. Miyzaki pitched the film to Studio Ghibli last August and predicted the film would debut just before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if it were okayed.