Acclaimed filmmaker and studio Ghibli legend Hayao Miyazaki has retired to make one final film.
During an interview with the New York Times, the 80-year-old Japanese filmmaker confirmed again that he will make another film – a full-length project called How do you live?
When asked why he was making another film, Miyazaki replied, “Because I wanted to.”
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Miyazaki originally announced his retirement in 2013, but later made a short film with his son Goro Miyazaki for the Ghibli Museum entitled Earwig and the Witch. Then, in 2018, Miyazaki announced that he would be come out of retirement Once again.
“[He] had to create something in order to live, ”said Goro of his father’s return to filmmaking.
Although details on his upcoming feature film are rare, How Do You Live? based on a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki described the film as “a fantasy on a grand scale”.
The only other detail that Suzuki would share is that he sees himself in one of the movie’s characters who is not human.
The novel How do you live? tells the story of 15 year old Junichi Honda after his father passed away. The little boy, known by his nickname Koperu (after the astronomer Copernicus), moves in with his uncle and finds himself completely different – the book deals with perspective, the structure of society and how Koperu sees its insertion.
The book ends with the narrator asking, “How do you live?”
Though how do you live has been in the works since 2018, this current interview is more of a declaration of intent – it’s coming. When remains to be seen. But the studio previously said it was hoping for the film will be completed in the next three years.
Asked how he would answer the question “How do you live?” Miyazaki replied, “I’m making this film because I don’t have an answer.”
But will this really be Miyazaki’s last film?
“In the West we always need to know how things are going,” said Suzuki. “With Ghibli, the last scene is often a mystery.”
Ryan Leston is an entertainment writer and film critic for IGN. You can follow him Twitter.