Japanese film distributor Toho has announced its 2016 release lineup, including the promise that Studio Ghibli’s feature co-production The Red Turtle, directed by Oscar-winning Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit (Father & Daughter) will hit Japanese screens in September. The project is co-produced with French production and distribution house Wild Bunch.
Announced back in April, The Red Turtle is the story of a man marooned on a desert island, desperate to escape, until an encounter with a strange sea turtle changes his life. The script is written by de Wit and director-screenwriter Pascale Ferran, whose 2006 film adaptation of Lady Chatterley won the Cesar Award for Best Film.
The project was conceived after Wild Bunch chief executive Vincent Maraval visited Studio Ghibli in 2008 and met with Hayao Miyazaki, who expressed an interest in meeting and working with de Wit based on his admiration for Father & Daughter. The Red Turtle is de Wit’s first feature-length animation.
During production, de Wit temporarily moved to Tokyo to work on the film’s storyboards at Ghibli’s Koganei headquarters, under the guidance of the film’s artistic producer Isao Takahata. Animation is currently being completed in France. Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli previously collaborated on the 2010 film The Secret World of Arrietty.