Three months after Hayao Miyazaki first expressed a desire to return to feature filmmaking, Studio Ghibli has made it official: The 76-year-old anime legend has come out of retirement, presumably to work on “Boro the Caterpillar.”
Although the filmmaker has “retired,” by some counts, as many as five times since 1998, he insisted in 2013 that this one was “for real.” Miyazaki remained busy afterward, working on a samurai manga, as well as anime shorts for the Ghibli Museum. It’s one of those latter projects, “Boro the Caterpillar,” that spurred his desire to return to full-length features, as he wasn’t satisfied with the short format.
According to Anime News Network, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki has announced that Miyazaki is indeed beginning work on a feature, but didn’t specify which project it is.
Miyazaki has described “Boro the Caterpillar” as “a story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers.” He suggested in November that the film could be complete by 2019, before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The filmmaker, who made his directorial debut in 1979 with “Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro,” boasts a long list of credits that includes “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” “Castle in the Sky,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “The Wind Rises.” He received an Honorary Academy Award in 2014 in recognition of his impact on animation and cinema.