Japan’s Studio Ghibli says it won’t release a trailer or any promotional material ahead of the release of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film How do you live?
The upcoming movie, which premieres in Japan on July 14, is easily the most anticipated movie in years in Japanese theaters — and exceedingly little is known about it (the US and international release dates for the movie are yet to be announced). not determined). Ghibli previously described the film as “a grand fantasy”, loosely inspired by Japanese author Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel. How do you live?, a coming-of-age story about a young boy’s emotional and philosophical development after the death of his father. And the studio released an obscure poster for the movie in December (see below), but it hasn’t said anything else about the movie since then — no plot summary, no voice cast, nothing about the movie’s setting or characters. In an interview with Japanese magazine Bungei Shunji on Friday, Ghibli’s longtime lead producer Toshio Suzuki, who is believed to be Miyazaki’s right-hand man, said nothing more about the film will be revealed before it hits theaters.
Explaining the lack of markers for the upcoming film, which has already become notable in Japan, Suzuki said, “As part of the company’s business, Ghibli has wanted people to come see the films we’ve made over the years. So we thought about that and did a lot of different things for that purpose – but this time we were like, ‘Eh, we don’t have to do that.’”
He added: “If you keep doing the same thing you did before, you get tired of it. That’s why we wanted to do something different.”
Fans of the legendary anime house, which has long prioritized a pure experience of its works over commercial considerations, will recognize the decision as a very Studio Ghibli-esque move. For years, Ghibli limited the amount of merchandise that could be licensed and made from his characters, fearing they would become overexposed and lose some of their magic. And when the company launched its first long-running theme park last year, it restricted sophisticated media access to the park, worried that widespread coverage would make the attraction too popular, undermining the gentle appreciation of nature it was meant to generate for visitors.
In the interview, Suzuki also contradicted Ghibli’s approach How do you live? with the usual Hollywood marketing methods.
‘There’s an American movie – ah, I almost said the title aloud! – coming out around the same time this summer (if How do you live?),’ he said. after seeing all the trailers I actually didn’t want to see the movie, so I wanted to do the opposite.”
Suzuki also revealed that it was a compliment from Miyazaki on the first poster that ultimately convinced him to go for such a bold, barebones approach in releasing the film.
He explained: “I have been involved in our films ever since Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), but this was the first time Hayao Miyazaki praised me sincerely. “Suzuki-san, this is great. This is the best poster you’ve ever made,’ he said. I felt like that was a hint, so I decided, “Let’s go for this one poster for the marketing.” So no trailers or TV commercials at all… No newspaper ads either. Deep down, I think this is what moviegoers latently desire.”
Studio Ghibli’s only poster for How do you live? is downstairs.