Grist For The Rumor Mill: Shimizu Takashi To Direct Live Action KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE?

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
Before saying this out loud allow me to first point out that, at this point, the following is best considered a rumor and we have not been able to confirm it to the level we normally strive for. That said, the source is pretty compelling and the story itself is just so damn odd and unexpected that I can't imagine someone making it up if there wasn't something to it. And so ...

Twitch has been told that Ju-On and The Grudge director Shimizu Takashi - more or less the last man standing in the J-horror wave - has come on board to direct a big budget, live action adaptation of Studio Ghibli's popular children's fantasy animation Kiki's Delivery Service. Shimizu certainly knows a thing or two about supernatural females and cats but this features both in ways significantly different from his norm.

Not generally considered one of Miyazaki's essential works Kiki tells the story of a young girl, a witch, who leaves her family and travels to the big city on a mandatory year away from home to prove her independence, ultimately using her magical powers to support herself by operating a broomstick powered courier service. While it's not Totoro or Nausicaa or Laputa, very few things are, and Kiki is still pretty damn great. Miyazaki's 1989 feature was based on Kaidono Eiko's novel of the same name and has since also spawned a four volume manga and a stage musical.
Around the Internet:
  • Nardog

    The story was true! Japanese tabloids broke a story this morning (JST) that Takashi SHIMIZU will direct the live-action adaptation of (attention please) "Eiko KADONO's child novel". 1997-born newcomer Fuuka KOSHIBA will star as Kiki.

    http://www.sponichi.co.jp/ente...
    http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/ent...

    Here are excerpts from the latter:

    There was a time when Hollywood studios wanted an adaptation of the novel, but a few years ago, the development started in Japan because KADONO herself wanted it.

    SHIMIZU was pleased that he's "finally doing a movie that's not scary." Despite all expected prejudices and assumptions, he declared he will "work on it relying on my vision and sense."

    KOSHIBA was chosen among 500 by an audition.

    Producers are already seeking international sales and sequels. Filming is slated to begin on one of Seto Inland Sea islands in late May. The movie will come out in Japan next spring.

    ----

    There's no information about production or distribution on the papers, but Shinichiro INOUE, the head of Kadokawa Shoten Publishing, posted a tweet about it, so the company is likely producing and/or distributing.

    http://twitter.com/HP0128/stat...

  • andy

    Studio Ghibli just said this information was false.

  • Just saw a report on this, what Ghibli actually said was "We have nothing to do with it," which is not really a rebuttal at all. And may actually be read as confirmation.

  • Have you got a link? Would love to see and update ...

  • HowlJenkins

    I do not hate the movie at all (I don't even hate "Earthsea"), but for some reason I don't see how this could be in the top five for most people, as I've seen so far across the interwebs.
    Opinions I know, but its strange to me.

    Anyways, a live-action film of Kiki would be weird, mostly because of Jiji being a talking cat and the flying bike Tombo makes. I can just see the bad CG effects.

  • Nohbdy

    Because: Magic~

    The others may include magic, but Kiki's Delivery Service embodies and emphasizes magic truly - almost on a practical level - but moreso as magic itself.
    Although related and important, magical tales induce feelings of happiness and motivation, as well as wisdom and knowledge, and many people can feel the hint of magic.

    Yet, there is a unique difference between "a magical story" and "a story about magic".

  • Fran

    woah. I'm sorry but I've obviously got a completely different bias than this author. Kiki and Totoro will always be the two best for me. I guess it's cuz those are the two I grew up with. I'd love to see this happen, though!

  • Well, given that I said Totoro is one of Miyazaki's three absolute landmark films and Kiki is pretty damn great I'd say we're not too far off.

  • Mike

    For me Kiki was always the best. Those other ones just so happen to have the same people behind then. Now the shoe is on the other foot. It is all a matter of opinion.

  • Nia Ariel

    LEAVE KIKI ALONE!!! YOU'RE LUCKY SHE EVEN LEFT HOME FOR YOU BASTARDS! LEAVE HER ALONE!! PLEASE!!!!

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