It might be hard to believe, but the first time Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from making feature-length animated films happened in the late ’90s. A year later, he returned to Studio Ghibli with the story idea for what would become Spirited Away, which went on to win the 2002 Academy Award for best animated feature.
To cut a long story short, Miyazaki has announced his retirement on multiple occasions, the latest being in 2013, after having directed 11 features in 34 years.
In a rare interview, with The New York Times (which took place with an interpreter), Miyazaki confirmed he’s returning to Studio Ghibli again to direct a new film.
“Because I wanted to,” he said.
Aside from a short film, the last feature movie Miyazaki directed was 2013’s The Wind Rises, a fictionalized biographical film about Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who created the A6M World War II fighter plane. It took only a year after announcing his retirement for Miyazaki to find inspiration to make another film.
Over the past four years, Miyazaki has been working on the new film, which isn’t finished just yet, according to the Times.
Little was shared about the new film, other than that it’s based on a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino called How Do You Live? The novel follows a 15-year-old boy in Tokyo, whose father has recently died. How Do You Live? is reportedly Miyazaki’s favorite “childhood” book.
Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki described the new film as “fantasy on a grand scale.”
Miyazaki didn’t confirm whether the new film will be called How Do You Live?
When asked about the title, he replied: “I am making this movie because I do not have the answer.”