Hayao Miyazaki has created his next, and apparently final, movie “How Do You Live?” that’s premiering in Japan in July. Much to our surprise, though, he and Studio Ghibli aren’t going to release any promotional material for the film prior to its showing.
In an interview with Japanese magazine Bungei Shunji as translated by The Hollywood Reporter, studio Ghibli’s lead producer Toshio Suzuki revealed that they’re “tired” of excessively marketing their movies and want to do the complete opposite of what American movie producers do, which is to release multiple trailers that often discourage audiences from watching the entire movie in the end.
“As part of company operations, over the years Ghibli has wanted people to come see the movies we’ve made. So we’ve thought about that and done a lot of different things for that purpose — but this time we were like, ‘Eh, we don’t need to do that,’” said Suzuki.
“Doing the same thing you’ve done before, over and over, you get tired of it. So we wanted to do something different.”
He later added: “There’s an American movie — ah, I almost said the title out loud! — coming out this summer around the same time [as How Do You Live?] They’ve made three trailers for it, and released them one at a time. If you watch all three, you know everything that’s going to happen in that movie. So how do moviegoers feel about that? There must be people, who, after watching all the trailers, don’t want to actually go see the movie. So, I wanted to do the opposite of that.”
Suzuki also shared that his decision to just do away with any promotional material for “How Do You Live?” was because of a compliment he received about the poster from Miyazaki himself. “I’ve been involved with our movies since ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’ (1984), but this was the first time Hayao Miyazaki genuinely praised me. ‘Suzuki-san, this is amazing. This is the best poster you’ve ever made,’ he said. I felt like that was a hint, so I decided, ‘Let’s go with just 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.”
— スタジオジブリ STUDIO GHIBLI (@JP_GHIBLI) December 13, 2022
“How Do You Live?” will be released in Japan on July 14. It will be Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years, having gone out of retirement back in 2017. The title is based on a 1937 book written by a children’s book author and editor, which follows the story of a young boy who goes on a life-changing journey toward spiritual growth and discovering the answers to life’s greatest mysteries with the help of his uncle who guides him through a journal. However, according to Miyazaki, the movie will not be a direct adaptation of the novel.
Prior to this, Miyazaki worked on “Kaze Tachinu” (“The Wind Rises”) which premiered in 2013. His most famous works are “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Princess Mononoke,” and “My Neighbor Totoro,” just to name a few.
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