It's been announced that animation giant, Hayao Miyazaki, will be retiring from writing and directing feature films. The announcement came at the Venice Film Festival where his latest (and now final) film, The Wind Rises, just played and received glowing reviews.
Studio Ghibli President Koji Hoshino made the announcement at a press conference where no specific reason was given, which makes me hope this is merely him stepping back and there's nothing wrong healthwise with the 72-year-old filmmaker responsible for films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo and Kiki's Delivery Service.
Hoshino added that Miyazaki will hold a briefing in Tokyo soon where further details will be revealed. It would be a little surprising to me if he steps back entirely as I expect we'll still see him credited as a writer and producer, at the very least, on a few upcoming films from his son, Goro Miyazaki, just as he was on his most recent release, From Up On Poppy Hill. [Variety]