Studio Ghibli reported in its annual New Year's message on Wednesday that it is continuing to work on two new films in 2020. The anime studio had previously revealed that its co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is directing the action-adventure fantasy feature film, Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka (How Do You Live?). The studio has yet to reveal details of the second new film. The studio's message also mentioned the Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind kabuki stage play, the upcoming Ghibli Park, and "active overseas expansion."
Ghibli's New Year's message did not specify if the second new film is a short or a feature, nor did it specify if the film is traditional animation, live-action, or a hybrid. Ghibli produced Hideaki Anno's 2000 live-action feature Shiki-Jitsu (Ritual) and Shinji Higuchi's 2012 live-action short "Kyōshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru" (A Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo).
Former Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura reported in 2016 that Miyazaki was planning three more shorts for the Ghibli Museum. Since then, the museum debuted Miyazaki's "Boro the Caterpillar" ("Kemushi no Boro") short in 2018. As of December, the museum's current "Sketch, Flash, Spark! ~ From the Ghibli Forest Sketchbook" exhibition features a production timeline that does not yet list a new short after "Boro the Caterpillar."
Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki reported that Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka was about 15% complete at the end of October, after three and a half years of production. Miyazaki is now directing about one minute of animation per month. The Ghibli Museum's "Sketch, Flash, Spark! ~ From the Ghibli Forest Sketchbook" exhibition timeline clarifies that Miyazaki began drawing storyboards for the film in 2017.
Suzuki had stated in a Bungei Shunjū magazine essay published in March that Miyazaki is working on Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka without a deadline to complete the film. Suzuki said, "With the production of this new film, we're experimenting with having no established deadline. I'm looking forward to how that comes through in the work." Suzuki indicated that Studio Ghibli's works normally have set production schedules. In an earlier television special that revealed the film project, Miyazaki presented a proposed schedule for finishing the film by 2019, but Suzuki indicated that the studio is no longer following that plan.
Miyazaki derived the film's title from writer Genzaburō Yoshino's 1937 masterpiece of the same name. He added that this book is a story that has great meaning to the protagonist of his film. Yoshino's book centers around a man named Koperu and his uncle, and through Koperu's spiritual growth, it discusses how to live as human beings.
In the Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki) special that aired in November 2016, Miyazaki reported that he wanted to return to making an anime feature film after his "Boro the Caterpillar" short for the Ghibli Museum (which debuted in March 2018). According to the special, Miyazaki was not satisfied with doing just the CG short, and he presented a project proposal for a feature-length film in August 2016. Despite not officially receiving a green-light for the feature film at the time, Miyazaki decided to start animation work on the project anyway.
Source: Studio Ghibli's website