It’s been long rumored that The Boy and the Heron, the latest Studio Ghibli film from legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, will also be his last… but that may not be the case after all.
Speaking on the red carpet of the Toronto International Film Festival, where The Boy and the Heron made its highly anticipated North American debut, Studio Ghibli executive Junichi Nishioka told CBC News that the 82-year-old filmmaker is still heading to the office with plenty of ideas.
“Other people say that this might be his last film, but he doesn’t feel that way at all,” Nishioka told the outlet through a translator. “He is currently working on ideas for a new film. He comes into his office every day and does that. This time, he’s not going to announce his retirement at all. He’s continuing working just as he has always done.”
It’s true that Miyazaki has announced his retirement several times now, including after the releases of 1997’s Princess Mononoke, 2001’s Spirited Away, and 2013’s The Wind Rises. But, given the 10-year break between The Wind Rises and The Boy and the Heron (excluding a short, Boro the Caterpillar, in 2018), many thought that Miyazaki actually would step away after this one. Plus, Miyazaki himself said he was “serious this time” in 2013, desiring a life beyond animation.
But for many, this development is a welcome one, especially after The Boy and the Heron got rave reviews out of Toronto. Rafael Motamayor gave it a 9/10 today for IGN, calling it “a stunning animated adventure that reminds us how lucky we are to live at a time when Studio Ghibli is making movies.”
The Boy and the Heron debuted in Japan in July and just recently got a full trailer and North American release date: Dec. 8. Studio Ghibli has been careful to keep it shrouded in mystery, however, not even releasing a poster or still leading up to its Japanese release.
The Boy and the Heron – 19 New Images
Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.