hayao miyazaki wants to come out of retirement for one more film

He's been working on this story for 20 years.

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Nov 14 2016, 2:35pm

Hayao Miyazaki — the Japanese director behind My Neigbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and bunch of other very special films — is coming out of (semi) retirement. In September 2013, 73-year-old Miyazaki ended months of speculation by confirming he was stepping away from directing. "There's an end to everything," he said at the time. 

In this case, there might also be a epilogue. In 2014, Miyazaki announced his desire to give computer-animation a go, telling fans he was at work on a 10 minute short which would screen exclusively at the Ghibli Museum — it would be about a small caterpillar. As it turns out, he's now decided the little creatures deserves an entire feature film. 

During a special program on Japan's NHK television network, titled Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done), Miyazaki revealed the name of the project: Kemushi No Boro, or Boro The Caterpillar.

Miyazaki says he expects to complete the original short in about a year's time, and the feature film four years after that — just in time for the Tokyo Olympics. Miyazki hasn't inked an official Kemushi No Boro deal yet, but he's already at work on storyboards: a good sign the film will get the go ahead. 

Miyazaki reportedly told NHK he's been planning the story for almost 20 years. He described Boro as "a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers." Looks like Miyazki's report of his own retirement was greatly exaggerated. 

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Text Isabelle Hellyer

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