Hayao Miyazaki, the most celebrated anime director in modern history, has announced his retirement several times. But he’s always come back to make something new (before announcing his retirement again). More recently he said he would return only to do shorts, such as “Boro the Caterpillar,” something he’s working on for the Ghibli Museum.
In “The Man Who Is Not Done,” a television special released last November on Japanese TV, Miyazaki announced he would be fully returning to making movies, and that he had begun storyboard work on an unrevealed project to be released in 2019. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki remarked in the special that Miyazaki will probably draw storyboards until he dies.
However, it’s been six months since that announcement, and the movie itself has been in development for longer than that (at least since last July). Studio Ghibli admitted this weekend that Miyazaki has only completed 20 minutes’ worth of storyboards so far. This doesn’t bode well for the promised release date, but if it can’t be completed in 2019, Miyazaki would like it finished at least before the Tokyo Olympics begin in the summer of 2020.
Since the film is nowhere near completion, Studio Ghibli is not prepared to release the title or any details. In fact, when asked directly if Miyazaki could finish the picture in his remaining lifetime, producer Toshio Suzuki said back “Hmm….I don’t know.”