Fans of the Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli will love this news—one of the production group’s most loved films (and arguably the most loved), Spirited Away, is being adapted from film and onto the big stage for a play by Toho Co. Ltd. British director John Caird, who also directed Les Misérables, is slated to take on the project.
Image: Studio Ghibli, Spirited Away
Two actors have already been confirmed to take on the role of Chihiro—Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi. The latter is most known for her voice role in the hit anime film, Your Name by Makoto Shinkai.
The director, John Caird, said in a statement, “I feel so excited and privileged to be working on the first-ever stage adaptation of Spirited Away. I have for many years now regarded Hayao Miyazaki as one of the preeminent geniuses of world cinema and the greatest ever proponent of the anime form.” He continued, “I share a belief in all the most dominant themes of Miyazaki’s work, themes that are at the core of the Spirited Away world—care for the environment, reverence for nature, a belief in the force of the good spirits within us, and the empowerment of young women and men to change the world for the better.”
The stage play is said to open at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Japan, in February 2022, and afterward will tour around Japan at the following cities and dates: Osaka in April 2022, Fukuoka in May 2022, Sapporo in June 2022, and Nagoya in June and July 2022.
The production company, Toho, reportedly stated that, after Japan, they are also hoping to bring the stage adaptation of Spirited Away around Asia and even Europe. Here’s to hoping they come to Manila for Spirited Away’s many Filipino fans!
Spirited Away is an Oscar-winning film, bagging Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards (2003). The movie was Japan’s highest-grossing film since it came out, until 2020, when it was surpassed by Haruo Sotozaki’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train.
What do you think of this news? Will you be watching this stage adaptation? Share your feels in the comments!