Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind -- director Hayao Miyazaki's 1984 animated epic based on his 1982 manga of the same name -- is currently being adapted into a Japanese kabuki play. As it turns out, however, this was almost not the first live-action interpretation of Nausicaä.
Rather, offers for live-action Hollywood film adaptation were made to Miyazaki in the past, all of which he subsequently decided to pass on. This revelation comes courtesy of Toshio Suzuki, who co-founded the esteemed Studio Ghibli in 1985 alongside Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Said Suzuki, "[Miyazaki] turned them all down, and I thought he wouldn’t like the idea of a kabuki play either, but he was willing."
According to Suzuki, Miyazaki had two major conditions for greenlighting a live-action Nausicaä film - conditions that were evidently not met. "The first condition is that the title, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, cannot be changed," Suzuki shared. "The second is that he will do nothing to help with the production, which includes not attending any press conferences."
Miyazaki's refusal to allow the film's title to be changed is likely related to the initial version of Nausicaä that was made for Western audiences. Released in the United States in 1985, Warriors of the Wind was a heavily-altered depiction of Miyazaki's original vision, with more than 20 minutes worth of content being cut and the film's environmentalist theme taking a backseat to the action. These changes ultimately did not prove to worth it from a business standpoint, as while Nausicaä is considered on of the best animated films in Japanese history, Warriors has largely fallen into obscurity.
As opposed to being an abridged version of Miyazaki's 1984 film, the upcoming Nausicaä kabuki play will actually adapt the original manga in its entirety. The Nausicaä manga ran from 1982 to 1994, meaning the play will feature characters and content never seen on-screen.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is currently available on home video and streaming.