Whether or not the legendary Hayao Miyazaki returns from his apparent retirement following his recent “final” film “The Wind Rises,” the future of Studio Ghibli still remains bright. Miyazaki’s cohorts Isao Takahata and Hiromasa Yonebayashi have each lent their directorial talents to Ghibli films in the past (“My Neighbors The Yamadas,” “The Secret World of Arietty”), but Hayao’s son Goro Miyazaki has also thrown his hat into the ring as well, and now he plans to take the studio into new territory on the small screen.
In a post on the studio’s Facebook page, Studio Ghibli announced their first-ever foray into television with a Goro Miyazaki-directed adaptation of a book by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren – best known for her Pippi Longstocking and Karlsson-on-the-Roof books. “Ronja the Robber’s Daughter” (“Sanzoku no Musume Ronja”) follows a young girl, Ronia, who lives with her thief father in a castle and interacts with animals in the surrounding pine forest, as well as meets another child who makes her question her father’s job. 3DCG studio Polygon Pictures (“Ghost in the Shell”) will co-produce, and considering how tailor-made Lindgren’s material is to Ghibli’s outlook, the series August 31st air date (in Japan, at least) is one to mark down now.
Meanwhile, “3 Days To Kill” helmer McG has spent the last few years thriving in TV, mainly in producing shows such as “Supernatural” and “Chuck.” Now the NBC pilot “Mysteries of Laura” has tipped his way, and he’s decided to step into the director’s chair once more. Based on the popular Spanish series “Los Misterios De Laura” and written by Jeff Rake (“Cashmere Mafia”), the show centers on a female homicide detective who nabs criminals left and right, but falters when it comes to handling her cruel twin sons. No cast members announced yet, but with that concept we imagine it could use a solid one. [Deadline]
Also in the pilot game currently is “Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell, who has directed two pilots in two years for ABC, and looks to choose a third this year. “Warriors” is a drama following active duty military doctors and nurses as they care for wounded soldiers coming home from Iraq, and also the upper government echelon of Washington D.C.. Stay tuned to see if it makes it past the pilot stage. [Deadline]
NBC’s “Hannibal” has grown an immense fan base since the premiere of its first season last year, from its simmering performance from Mads Mikkelsen to the many grisly storylines. Now actor Michael Pitt (who’s seen his share of grisly ends himself) will join season 2 of the show as Mason Verger, a wealthy and volatile antagonist of sorts to Dr. Hannibal Lecter (he was played by Gary Oldman in the 2001 film “Hannibal”). Also joining the second season, which premieres Feb. 28th, will be Gillian Anderson and Jeremy Davies – a fine slate of names that should prompt a full catch-up before the show returns. [EW]
The always funny Ken Marino is taking the male lead in NBC‘s developing sitcom “Marry Me.” He’ll co-star opposite Casey Wilson in the series about “a young couple who get engaged, something they quickly realize is harder than it looks.” Seth Gordon will direct the pilot. [Deadline]
And finally, if you didn’t catch the spot during the Super Bowl this past weekend, you can take another look at everyone’s favorite counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) in the new season of “24”, entitled “24: Live Another Day”. Promising to keep all the elements—both technical and narrative—familiar to fans, FOX will air its two-hour season premiere on May 5th at 8PM ET/PT, before settling into a one-hour format the following week on May 12th. Check the full TV spot out below. [via Coming Soon]