Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki retirement The Boy and The Heron new movie anime interview news

Out-of-retirement director is no longer looking for retirement. 

The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off on 7 September, and the first film to be shown at the festival was Studio Ghibli’s The Boy and the Heron, directed by studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki.

▼ The boy and the heron from The Boy and the Heron.

It was the first time for an animated movie to open the festival, and though the 82-year-old director wasn’t present, Ghibli executive Junichi Nishioka was there, speaking to media on the red carpet.

Nishioka, who is the vice president for international distribution, told reporters the studio was honoured to open the festival, and he went on to reveal a little about the elusive director, including what he’s up to now that the film he’s been working on for the past six years is finally out in the world.

When asked by one media outlet whether this would really be Miyazaki’s last film, Nishioka said:

“That sort of hearsay has been circulating in the media, but for Miyazaki, he doesn’t think that way at all. Even now, he’s devising ideas for new animated films and the next animated film — he comes to the studio every day working on ideas for the next anime so this time he’s not going back into retirement at all.”

▼ Nishioka (left), at the film festival with Guillermo Del Toro, who introduced The Boy and The Heron on stage, and Cameron Bailey, the CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Nishioka was far more forthcoming than Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, who replied to the same question at a press conference last month by saying:

Right now, we’re getting ready for the release of How Do You Live?, so I’d say that talking about anything beyond that is against the rules.”

Regardless of whether or not Nishioka broke the rules by revealing Miyazaki’s daily studio-going habits, we can all rest easy in the knowledge that the legendary Ghibli director is not going back into retirement like he did in 2013. Other reports confirmed the news, with Nishioka going on to say that over the past two decades, Miyazaki would say he’s done after finishing a movie, but this time there was no mention of retirement.

While there’s nothing concrete in the works yet, the director appears open to creating another animated film and continues to work every day, which is great news for fans, and exactly what we’ve come to expect from the neverending man.

Sources: CBC, Asahi Shimbun
Featured image: Studio Ghibli
Insert image: Studio Ghibli

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