The third-party GhibliWorld.com website reports that Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki said that studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is planning his next project. Suzuki made the comments during this past weekend’s Ghibli Asemamire radio show on Tokyo FM. Suzuki noted that Miyazaki, the director of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away, has not told Suzuki all the details of the next work.
Suzuki had indicated last June that Miyazaki is planning anime shorts for the Ghibli Museum as his next projects and that Miyazaki was looking at a classic Japanese folk tale about sumo-wrestling mice. Miyazaki himself said at the Venice International Film Festival last August that he thinks that the next anime he will oversee is at least three more years in the future, when he will be over 70.
Suzuki also revealed that there will be a 14-hour making-of documentary for Miyazaki’s latest film, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (pictured at right). The documentary will include footage that already aired on NHK Professional and other programs, as well as other footage that the Japanese public broadcaster NHK filmed over the past two years. The similar Mononoke Hime wa Kōshite Umareta documentary was six hours, 40 minutes long.
The Nikkei financial news source reported last month that Ghibli plans to open Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea in North American theaters this summer. Miyazaki’s longtime friend and colleague, Pixar and Disney’s John Lasseter (Toy Story, Cars), will produce the North American release as he had for Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki announced last June that co-producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park) are also handling the North American release.
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea coming to US Theaters and word of a new anime by Mr. Studio Ghibli himself in 3 years? This is seriously good news for Ghibli fans worldwide. Now the only question I have is when in 09 will Tales from Earthsea receive a US release?