It looks like Miyazaki has one last opus in him before retirement.
Japanese news outlet Ota-suke reports that living legend Hayao Miyazaki finished work on Ghibli Museum short Kemushi no Boro (Boro the Caterpillar). He’s now set his sights on one last, grand feature film to close off his career.
Earlier today, Studio Ghibli posted a job recruitment listing for Miyazaki’s final film. The studio is looking for background artists and in-between animators, who will work under a three-year contract starting October 1. Wages for new hires will start at 200,000 yen ($1794.16 USD) per month, along with two annual bonuses, transportation expenses, insurance, and paid vacation. New employees will be expected to work from 10:00AM – 7:00PM local time, which includes a one-hour lunch break. Overtime will be paid where applicable.
There is no restriction on gender or nationality for applicants, though candidates must be proficient in Japanese. CVs will be accepted through July 20, and all applicants must be over 18 years old. Work will be held at the Koganei building in Tokyo, which Ghibli has held for years.
According to the page, this will be “director Hayao Miyazaki’s final feature animation film” due to the director’s age (he’s 76). The contract will be subject to change or extension.
In February, we reported that Miyazaki was doing prep work for a new feature film, with the aim of having it in theaters by the 2020 Olympics. Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki noted at the time that “[r]ight now in Tokyo, he’s putting all his effort into making it [the feature].”
In November, we reported that Miyazaki expressed a desire to return to movie production. In NHK special Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki), it was revealed that Miyazaki was working on CGI short Kemushi no Boro. He wasn’t satisfied with the format, though, and presented a project proposal for a feature-length film in August 2016.
Miyazaki commented on the matter, stating that if the feature would take five years to make, he’d be 80 by the end of production. Though Miyazaki retired from feature films after 2013’s The Wind Rises, he continued to work as a director on shorts and features for the Studio Ghibli Museum.
Kemushi no Boro is tentatively slated for a July première at the Studio Ghibli museum.