Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Hayao Miyazaki–
–that didn’t take long. Yes, your assumption is correct: Miyazaki made another movie he claimed is his “final” one. But this time, we had reason to take him a little more seriously: unlike his previous films with Srudio Ghibli, this one was shrouded in secrecy to the point that no one could know a thing about it until it opened in Japan.
That meant no trailers, no teasers, not even a poster. The only pre-release image that came out of SG was an oil painting of a heron and the film’s Japanese title, “How Do You Live?” Miyazaki is perhaps the only one who could shadow-drop an entire anime movie that had six years of work behind it. But due to the clout he has by this point, “How Do You Live” had no trouble earning back its budget and then some.
The movie has been confirmed for a theatrical release in the United States, where it has been retitled “The Boy And The Heron.” There’s no way to hold back what it’s like or what it’s about once it’s out somewhere, so we get a trailer (see below). And how long did it take for Miyazaki to reveal this ISN’T his final movie? One day. He announced he was picking up a new project the very next day. That’s our Hayao.
Today, distributor GKIDS announced the cast of the English dub, and it’s got some NAMES. Christian Bale is in the lead as the “boy,” Robert Pattinson is the “heron,” Shoichi Maki. Dave Bautista plays The Parakeet King, Gemma Chan plays Natsuko, Willem Dafoe plays Noble Pelican, Karen Fukuhara plays Lady Himi, Mark Hamill plays Granduncle, and Florence Pugh plays Kiriko.
One of these days, Miyazaki really WILL make his final movie. It may not be The Boy And The Heron, but it’ll be something. We should treasure what we get while we can still get it. GKIDS releases the film to US theaters December 8.