When Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement (again) following the debut of The Wind Also Rises in 2013, he told the press: "This time I am quite serious." That proclamation lasted a grand total of three years. As the Anime News Network reports, the 75-year-old Japanese animator is coming out of retirement to complete one last Studio Ghibli film.
Though technically retired, the Spirited Away director has spent the past few years working on exhibits for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. One such project, "Kemushi no Boro" or "Boro the Caterpillar," was born from an idea that’s been knocking around in Miyazaki's head for two decades. When he developed it into a computer-animated short for the museum, he wasn’t happy with the final product. Now he’s looking to realize that vision as a feature film, an endeavor he hopes to have completed by 2019.
Miyazaki is waiting to receive a green-light from the studio, but that hasn’t stopped him from going ahead with the animation himself. The story, which follows a caterpillar "so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers," will still be made into a short for the museum. The project has a year's worth of work to go before it's ready to screen.
Miyazaki has teased his exit from filmmaking several times in the past. After making Princess Mononoke, Japan's highest-grossing title at the time of its release in 1997, he announced that the film would be his last. We all know how that went: A few years later he returned to animation to direct Spirited Away, the movie that broke that record and earned him an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
[h/t Anime News Network]