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 Nausicaa.net 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.