The last we heard of Hayao Miyazaki’s new movie, pre-production was beginning as Studio Ghibli reopened its doors in August. As fans continue to wait for any new details from the project that might drop — we still don’t even have an official title or plot details — the film’s producer has revealed the insanely adorable reason Miyazaki decided to come out of retirement in the first place.
Speaking on the Japanese television program “Nichiyobi Bijitsukan (Sunday Art Gallery),” Toshio Suzuki explained that Miyazaki wanted to leave behind a feature dedicated to his grandson. According to Suzuki, “Miyazaki is making the new film for his grandson. It’s his way of saying, ‘Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving behind this film.'”
It’s a simple and possibly revealing reason from the director, who hasn’t released a feature film since “The Wind Rises” in 2013. “Rises,” which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, was tailored more for adult audiences as it told the story of WWII pilot engineer Jiro Horikoshi. If Miyazaki’s new movie is intended for his grandchild, it’s safe to assume the filmmaker will be going back to more family-friendly fare a la “Ponyo.”
The movie is rumored to be a feature-length adaptation of his CGI short film “Boro the Caterpillar,” although Studio Ghibli has not yet confirmed this to be true. Suzuki revealed earlier this year the film is expected to be released sometime in 2019 or 2020 before Tokyo hosts the Olympic games.