Studio Ghibli co-founder and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki is working on a new feature-length project for the studio a couple of years after announcing his retirement.
The announcement was made during a pre-Oscars interview with Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki. Suzuki, who was talking about the Oscar-nominated film The Red Turtle that Ghibli co-produced, confirmed Miyazaki had started working on the film he was rumored to be attached to last year.
A reporter for 47News was at the interview and tweeted out the confirmation early this morning.
BREAKING: Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki confirms that Hayao Miyazaki is currently working on his next feature length film— Chuck D. (@WolfgangChuckD) February 24, 2017
According to his string of tweets, Miyazaki presented Suzuki with a storyboard for the film that he created in 20 minutes last year. The producer, who is on the verge of retiring himself, told Miyazaki that his concept for the film was great and as such agreed to produce the project.
The rumors of Miyazaki coming out of retirement started circulating in November. When a special documentary, Hayao Miyazaki: The Man Who Is Not Done, aired in Japan, Miyazaki admitted he was unhappy with a 12-minute CG short film he was working on called Boro the Caterpillar and wanted to turn it into a feature film. At the time, Miyazaki said it was a project that would take quite some time — and financial backing — to complete, but admitted he already proposed the film to Studio Ghibli’s producers.
Although the director has previously spoken about how he’d like to turn Boro the Caterpillar into a feature-length film, Suzuki did not explicitly confirm at the press conference that was Miyazaki’s next project. It seems very likely that it is, but it’s impossible to say with certainty at this time.
Miyazaki is currently working on the preparatory work he needs to do for the film and there is currently no estimated release window for the film.