Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese filmmaker who brought us “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle,” announced his retirement in 2013. His final feature-length movie was slated to be “The Wind Rises,” the story of Japanese aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi.
But this week, a NHK television special called “Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao,” or “The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki,” revealed that he is endeavoring to finish another feature-length film.
Because it takes him around five years to complete his more ambitious undertakings, Miyazaki noted in the TV special that he will be nearly 80 by the time this film is completely ― hopefully in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
He also joked that hopefully he’ll be alive once production is completed. “I think it’s still better to die when you are doing something than dying when you are doing nothing,” he said.
In the meantime, Miyazaki’s work on shorter films for the Ghibli Museum, which is a theme park dedicated to his work, will be put on hold. His 12-minute film about a tiny caterpillar ― a bug “so tiny that it may be easily squished” ― will be completed in the coming year.