During a press conference at the Venice International Film Festival on Sunday, Studio Ghibli President Koji Hoshino announced that director Hayao Miyazaki will retire from directing feature films. The news comes in the wake of the release of Miyazaki’s latest film The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) in Japan, a fictionalized biography of the Zero Fighter aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi, which has topped Japanese box office charts for six consecutive weeks and earned over $80 million in that time.
An award-winning and acclaimed director, Miyazaki is distinguished for buying the animation studio Topcraft and co-founding Studio Ghibli with fellow director Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki in 1985, as well as directing a number of theatrical animated films over the course of his career: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and finally The Wind Rises. As part of Studio Ghibli Miyazaki also worked on the screenplay for Goro Miyazaki’s From Up on Poppy Hill and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s The Secret World of Arrietty, as well as the screenplay and storyboarding for Yoshifuki Kondo’s Whisper of the Heart. He is also credited as Executive Producer for Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday and Hiroyuki Morita’s The Cat Returns.
In addition to creating Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind as a manga in 1982, during his early career Miyazaki worked for a number of studios including Toei Animation, Mushi Production, A Pro, Nippon Animation and TMS Entertainment, working on such anime as Animal Treasure Island, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Panda! Go Panda!, Future Boy Conan, the first animated series for Lupin the 3rd and Sherlock Hound.
According to a report at Variety, Miyazaki will comment on his retirement during a briefing in Tokyo later this week.