Studio Ghibli Announcing New Project December 15

     November 5, 2010

Yesterday at the Rome International Film Festival, Koji Hoshino, president of the beloved Studio Ghibli, stated that that the company “will announce Ghibli’s new work on December 15,” but did not add any more details beyond that. There is speculation on whether Hoshino was referring to the possible Porco Rosso sequel that animation godfather and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki mentioned to Cut magazine back in August. An article in Cinema Today expressed that it is still unknown whether this project will be something helmed by Miyazaki or a different director. Hit the jump to get my opinion on what this new project could be.

Back during Miyazaki’s interview with Cut magazine, Miyazaki expressed his desire for a sequel to his 1992 film Porco Rosso in which he envisions his pig pilot to be caught in the middle to the Spanish Civil War. The proposed project would be entitled Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie and would be his first film that acts as a sequel. I have doubts that Hoshino was referring to this proposed Porco project to be their newest announcement seeing that the man didn’t sound all that serious about the project actually going into development. In one of the translated quotes pulled from the interview, he stated “If next two films succeed and Suzuki-san lets me make it (Porco)…It cannot be helped because it’s a hobby of the old man, I’m happy. It’s my hobby.” By next two films, he was talking about The Borrower Arrietty, which was directed by Hiromasa Yonebay and released in Japan this past summer, and Tale of The Bamboo Cutter which is being directed by studio veteran Isao Takahata.

Miyazaki had previously stated that after Ponyo he had plans to release two more films in the next three years and it sounded like he was working hard and struggling to write a film that dealt with “a tragic story of a boy.” Miyazaki’s stories typically revolve around strong-minded women and he has proven his ability to develop great female characters. The man is really moving out of his comfort zone in writing a story about a boy with tragic characteristics and states “I think that I must think about only a movie about a boy.” I personally am keeping my fingers crossed that this December announcement will be this “tragic story about a boy” and not Porco. Though the film itself was fine, I found Porco Rosso to be his least interesting film. I couldn’t grasp a good connection with the characters and I felt it was missing his core love themes that he typically loves to preach. It will be interesting to see him move away from his forte and watch a tragic story feature a male character.

More as we hear it.  Until then, one of our writers was able to visit the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan. It’s really worth checking out if you missed it.

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  • Aaron Sullivan

    I love Porco Russo. :) It gets better every time I watch it (much like Ponyo that way for me). It has the most successful broad comedy of any of his films and I even enjoy the english dub with Michael Keaton as Porco and Brad Garrett. (Miyazaki’s favorite dub is the French dub with Jean Reno as Porco.) It would be endlessly fascinating to see what Miyazaki would do with a sequel, but I’d always wonder what amazing world he skipped presenting to us to return to an old one. ;)

    Always look forward to what Miyazaki is doing next, but I’m even more interested in the Isao Takahata project because his storytelling tends to be a bit more brave and he has directed less films. (Not enough people know about Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday and My Neighbors the Yamadas)

    Also, I love almost every Miyazaki film, but I hope he has at least one more fantastic action adventure movie a la Nausicca or Princess Mononoke in him, though.

  • rboticon

    should revisit the bath-house from Spirited Away and do a follow up to that story…like Chihiro returning to that world, for some reason. Id watch it!

  • 1234

    should revisit the bath-house from Spirited Away and do a follow up to that story…like Chihiro returning to that world, for some reason. Id watch it!

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  • GhibliBoy

    Porco Rosso left the tale open ended. Miyazaki’s Nausicaa movie/manga took about 10 years to see his vision through. I can’t see him returning to it after leaving it all on the page. I find that Porco Rosso stands out against all of his works and that Miyazaki’s love of flight shines through in it. You can tell from his handling of this film that this was his personal passion and a labor of love. Simply put, I’m excited to have one more from the master. From Future Boy Conan, to Castle of Cagliostro, and so on…… the man stands alone by himself as one of the greatest directors/writers/animators ever. Bring on “The Last Sortie”! Long Live the master Miyazaki Hayao!