At Least Three New Studio Ghibli Projects Supposedly In Development

Studio Ghibli is never content to rest on their laurels or let the ink dry. Their charming and wonderful film from 2010 The Secret World of Arrietty will finally hit U.S. theaters this Friday (look for a G-S-T review then as well). Also, From Up On Poppy Hill (the second effort from Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki) was released last July in Japan. It has been making its way around the world, stopping at a Film Festival or two and has been very well received. But word from the other side of the world is that the studio, as suspected, is hard at work developing some new projects. For those of you ever hungry for the latest work from little animation powerhouse, read on!

The first upcoming feature (and third from Goro Miyazaki) would be a bit of a new direction for the studio, despite their many fantasy/period piece based films. Sources say it would be “a samurai period work that combines fact and fiction” and would be set “in the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan during the Middle Ages.”  Sounds like every fan of Princess Mononoke would surely be on board for that.

In news that is further out and more or less concrete, Hayao Miyazaki, in a recent interview in Studio Ghibli’s Neppū periodical (pictured left), said that work on his current feature should be completed in the next 18 months or so. Following that, his son Goro talked briefly about its progress last November, “I think it’ll be about two years from now. Actually, my dad has begun making it now. It’s amazing.” That’s comforting but did we expect any less from Hayao?

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki added later that month that Hayao Miyazaki’s next work is “not the sort of work that everyone in the audience can relax and watch” since Miyazaki desired “to create something realistic.” For now we’ll not question that statement or indulge in speculation until we get any more information.

Finally, rounding out some older but still official Ghibli news, in September Isao Takahata confirmed that he’s also at work on a feature that which is still about two more years from being close to completion. None of these three projects have released official titles but whatever these animation masters are working on it’s sure to be something amazing.With any luck, the features may finish up around the same time but who knows what we’ll see first. Even though the US market is usually the last to indulge in Ghibli’s films, we still cannot wait to see what they come up with.

Footnote: The banner atop the post (a mosaic of cover images from Studio Ghibli’s BD collection)  comes courtesy of our friends at Ghibli Blog.