Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki

At last week’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) opening night festivities, Studio Ghibli vice president Junichi Nishioka said that legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki isn’t done directing yet and that the filmmaker is still a constant presence at the studio.

Nishioka was in town for the international premiere of Miyazaki’s latest film, The Boy and the Heron, which opened this year’s TIFF.

Miyazaki’s retirement flip-flopping can hardly be a surprise anymore. He’s been hinting at retiring, retiring, and un-retiring for over two decades. Speaking with Reuters, Nishioka said that this time, it’s different:

For the last 20 years, after finishing a movie, he would say I’m done… but this time, he didn’t mention anything about retirement. There is nothing concrete on the table yet, but he shows the willingness to create something new.

He also explained that Miyazaki, who is now 82 years old, is still at the studio daily, working on new ideas for future projects.

In an interview with Canadian broadcaster CBC, Nishioka reiterated, through an interpreter, that previous rumors that The Boy and the Heron would be Miyazaki’s final film didn’t come from the filmmaker himself and that the director is plotting his next film:

Other people say that this might be his last film, but he doesn’t feel that way at all. He is currently working on ideas for a new film. He comes into his office every day and does that. This time, he’s not going to announce his retirement at all. He’s continuing working just as he has always done.

Western critics were thrilled with what they saw at The Boy and the Heron’s Toronto debut. The film will get its European premiere when it opens the San Sebastián International Film Festival on September 22, and its U.S. debut at the New York Film Festival on October 1.

General audiences will have to wait a bit longer to see Miyazaki’s latest. GKIDS is releasing the film in U.S. theaters on December 8, perfect timing for a big awards season push.

Miyazaki photo at top: By 文部科学省ホームページ, licensed under CC BY 4.0

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