Is ‘The Boy and the Heron’ Hayao Miyazaki’s last film?

Advertisement

Renowned director Hayao Miyazaki, at 82 years old, has graced audiences once more with his latest gem, “The Boy and the Heron.” Initially indicating retirement after the release of “The Wind Rises,” Miyazaki’s return was announced in 2017 as he embarked on a new project under Studio Ghibli.

Before the official announcement, Miyazaki had discussions with Toshio Suzuki, his producer and one of the Studio Ghibli founders, expressing his desire to create another film. Initially hesitant, Suzuki was concerned that a potential subpar film might tarnish Miyazaki’s illustrious legacy. Having previously admitted in 2013 that his era of animation had concluded, Miyazaki’s persistence eventually persuaded Suzuki. After all, denying the legendary director one last opportunity to showcase his mastery seemed unthinkable.

Fast forward to the present, and the glowing reviews for Miyazaki’s latest work affirm that delaying his retirement was undoubtedly worthwhile.

Advertisement

The storyline of Miyazaki’s recent film appears to echo this sentiment, portraying protagonist Mahito being entrusted by an elderly man to assume responsibility for sustaining the enchanting world he inhabits. Miyazaki himself seems to occupy a similar position – with few capable of storytelling akin to his mastery, the weight of the studio’s success seems to rest upon his shoulders, potentially explaining his reluctance to completely retire.

Although Studio Ghibli has seen other directors, including Miyazaki’s son Goro, few have managed to reach the lofty standards he has set.

Amidst the success of “The Boy and the Heron,” Studio Ghibli’s vice president, Junichi Nishioka, hinted at another Miyazaki project in the works. Nishioka disclosed to CBC News that Miyazaki continues to frequent the office daily, passionately developing new ideas and actively working on potential future endeavors.

According to Nishioka, Miyazaki is currently engrossed in brainstorming concepts for an upcoming film, and this time, there won’t be any retirement announcements. He’s steadfastly committed to his craft, maintaining his routine as he has always done.

While these rumors are tantalizing, it’s uncertain whether they hold true. Such dedication resonates with the Miyazaki we admire, yet it’s premature to answer all the queries about his future endeavors. Patience remains our only option as we await further developments in this ongoing narrative.