Courtesy of Nicholas Guerin
The producer hints that widely assumed plot details may be wrong.
Studio Ghibli, the famous Japanese animation studio, will keep a cloud of secrecy for as long as possible about How Do You Live, the final film by maestro Miyazaki Hayao (“Spirited Away”, “Howl’s Moving Castle”, “Princess Mononoke”).
The new movie is set to hit theaters in Japan on July 14, but Studio Ghibli and its partners will be getting rid of pre-release announcements and advanced information. So far only one mysterious poster of a bird has been released.
In a long interview with Bungei Shunju Magazine, now available on YouTube, Studio Ghibli head and producer Suzuki Toshio explained the unusual strategy as a ploy to whet fans’ appetites. They have been denied access to a new film by Miyazaki Film since 2013’s “The Wind Rises”.
“They’ll want to see for themselves what the movie is about,” said Suzuki. “And to do that, they’re going to have to go to the theatre.”
When the magazine editor mentioned that the film is based on How You Live, a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino with a young protagonist, Suzuki said Miyazaki “only borrowed the title”, implying that plot descriptions available online may be based on synopses Yoshino’s account is incorrect. However, Miyazaki has previously called How to Live one of his favorite books.
Suzuki, despite knowing longtime Studio Ghibli watchers, did not mention that Miyazaki’s perfectionism had previously led to production delays. This means that while Miyazaki’s films may hit opening dates, they have done so except for the usual weeks and months of press releases for distributor Toho.
Still, not having any announcements, trailers, or information about the voice cast released is quite a milestone, even for Studio Ghibli.
The film has been pre-sold in Overseas Territories, but no overseas release dates have been set at this time. Gkids is appointed as the distributor in the United States.
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