During a recent Academy screening of Oscar nominated film The Red Turtle, producer and Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki let it slip that his longtime comrade Hayao Miyazaki is indeed working on a new animated feature, despite retiring from long-format helming a little over three years ago. Suzuki stated that Miyazaki is in Tokyo “putting all his effort into making it.”
At the end of last year, it was hinted that Miyazaki was planning a new feature-length project. At that time, the living animation legend told NHK TV in a special program that he was storyboarding a feature version of his CG animated short Boro the Caterpillar, but this has not yet been confirmed as the project underway.
Japanese news outlets report that the feature project, whatever it is, is expected to be released in 2019, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Suzuki confirmed to Kyodo that he will be producing the project.
The Boro short is expected to debut at the Ghibli Museum this summer.
Miyazaki’s last (and allegedly final) feature was The Wind Rises, which was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and received over 20 other awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for animated feature and an Annie for writing. The film was written and directed by Miyazaki and produced by Suzuki.