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Studio Ghibli master Hayao Miyazaki’s new film will open next summer

How Do You Live is inspired by a classic children’s novel

A crop of a poster for How Do You Live?, showing a sketch of a bird-like creature’s face Image: Studio Ghibli
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Studio Ghibli has announced a Japanese release date for the next film from director Hayao Miyazaki. The movie, tentatively titled How Do You Live, will open in theaters in Japan on July 14, 2023.

The studio also released some artwork from the film, a loose charcoal-and-watercolor sketch, apparently of a bird-like creature.

Miyazaki had originally retired after the release of his 2013 historical drama The Wind Rises, but returned to work in 2016 to work on How Do You Live, a film inspired by — but not a direct adaptation of — a 1937 children’s novel by Yoshino Genzaburo. Miyazaki has long said the book is important to him and his films, and is apparently central to the life of the new film’s protagonist. But whereas the book follows a 15-year-old pondering life’s big questions in prewar Japan, the film has been described as a “big, fantastical story” and is an original work by Miyazaki, who wrote the screenplay.

Miyazaki is working on How Do You Live at a deliberately slow pace; the first 36 minutes of hand-drawn animation took three years to make. Producer Toshio Suzuki has said that Miyazaki decided to come out of retirement so he could dedicate one last film to his grandson.

Earlier this year, Miyazaki’s status as one of the greatest animators of all time was further cemented by the canonization of his classics My Neighbor Totoro and Spirted Away on a list of the 100 greatest films of all time compiled every 10 years by Sight and Sound magazine — the only, and the first ever, animated films to make the list.

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