Hayao Miyazaki, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli and writer/director of Spirited Away, said in a recent interview he plans to "to continue making anime until I die." So what is he working on?
Miyazaki, who retired from making feature-length films around this time last year, was in Hollywood this weekend to receive a Lifetime Achievement Oscar at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards. It was before the ceremony, in an interview with the Associated Press, that Miyazaki dropped the line about making anime for the foreseeable future. "I like creating stories and drawing pictures," he explained. Via RocketNews24:
...planning has begun for a Miyazaki-helmed short to screen at the Saturn Theater inside Tokyo's Ghibli Museum. While Ghibli's films have been the Japanese movie industry's closest thing to a license to print money, Miyazaki's cut of prior box office revenues, not to mention Ghibli's massive merchandising arm, mean that he's not worried about passing up the economic gains of a general release. As a matter of fact, he'd prefer to not think about money at all, stating that "Not having to worry about whether it will be a financial success or not is a big plus."
So what is Miyazaki up to? L.A. Times reporter Rebecca Keegan recently had a chance to speak with him. In her interview, she asks him to tell her about the manga he's currently working on. His response:
It's something I wanted to do when I was a student. It's about samurai in the 16th century, wearing full armor, battling it out with each other. I was very dissatisfied with the way that era was depicted in fiction and film, so I wanted to draw something that would reflect the way I thought that era should look. ... The great director Akira Kurosawa filmed his films in large, open spaces like golf courses, and there weren't those large, open spaces in Japan.
Miyazaki was honored at last night's awards by John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Disney Pixar, who called him "the most original filmmaker to ever work in our medium":
Watch Miyazaki's acceptance speech below: