Hayao Miyazaki has teased Studio Ghibli’s next movie, calling the upcoming release a return to “big, fantastical” stories. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Studio Ghibli producer and general manager Toshio Suzuki gave an in-depth update on How Do You Live?
According to Suzuki, Miyazaki’s movie has continued production through the coronavirus pandemic but is at least three years away from completing animation. “We are still hand-drawing everything, but it takes us more time to complete a film because we’re drawing more frames,” Suzuki said. “So, there are more drawings to draw than before. Back when we were making [1988’s] My Neighbor Totoro, we only had eight animators. Totoro we made in eight months. [For] the current film that Hayao Miyazaki is working on, we have 60 animators, but we are only able to come up with one minute of animation in a month. That means 12 months a year, you get 12 minutes worth of movie. Actually, we’ve been working on this film for three years, so that means we have 36 minutes completed so far. We’re hoping it will finish in the next three years.”
In addition to Miyazaki’s projects, Ghibli also has a movie helmed by his son Gorō (Tales of Earthsea, From Up on Poppy Hill) in the works, a computer-animated adaptation of an unnamed story from England with a wise girl at the center.
The director’s upcoming project is an adaptation of Yoshino Genzaburo’s 1937 story about a young boy who comes of age while living with his uncle after the death of his father.
How Do You Live? will be Miyazaki’s first feature-length movie after retiring from the industry in 2013 following the completion of The Wind Rises. Miyazaki announced his return in 2016 and went on to release the CGI short film Boro the Caterpillar in 2018.