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Animation Maestro Hayao Miyazaki Back at Work on Feature (Reports)

Variety logo Variety 2/26/2017 Mark Schilling
© Provided by Variety

The Japanese media has reported a comment by veteran Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki that studio maestro Hayao Miyazaki is working on a new feature.

Suzuki spoke at an event in Los Angeles on Friday for the Michael Dudok de Wit Oscar-nominated animation “The Red Turtle,” on which Ghibli was a production partner. Suzuki said that Miyazaki is “hard at work” on the film, plunging in without a written script.

The 76-year-old Miyazaki officially announced his retirement in September of 2014, but when the studio became involved in the production of “The Red Turtle,” Suzuki noted, “He didn’t like it that someone else was making a film at Ghibli.” He started working on a proposal for a new feature that he presented to Suzuki last July. The film may be a longer version of “Boro the Caterpillar,” a CGI animated short that Miyazaki was making for screenings at the Ghibli museum in Tokyo, but Suzuki offered no details about its contents. “All I can say is that it’s really interesting,” he said.

Suzuki first hinted at this new Miyazaki project when he appeared on a program broadcast by public broadcaster NHK on Nov. 13. His statements in L.A. offer further confirmation that it is indeed a reality, though no release date or distributor have yet been revealed.

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