Studio Ghibli has revealed Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, “How Do You Live?,” will be getting an IMAX release. This will be the first Miyazaki and Ghibli film to be released simultaneously in IMAX, along with a regular theatrical one.
This is Miyazaki’s first film in a decade, so saying it is highly anticipated is an understatement. Not to mention it will be his last feature film. Though in 2013, the director said “The Wind Rises” would be his final feature film. A vow he has clearly gone back on for “How Do You Live?.”
On top of the history-making IMAX release, Ghibli has chosen not to do any marketing for “How Do You Live?.” In June, the studio confirmed that outside of a cryptic poster released in December, there would be no marketing for the film. No trailer, plot summary, or even publicity stills. The goal is to have viewers go into the experience with “no preconceived notions.”
“As part of company operations, over the years Ghibli has wanted people to come see the movies we’ve made,” Ghibli’s lead producer Toshio Suzuki said. “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.’ Doing the same thing you’ve done before, over and over, you get tired of it. So we wanted to do something different.”
“Deep down, I think this is what moviegoers latently desire,” Suzuki added. Making reference to the standard Hollywood marketing approach of releasing trailer after trailer. Because many moviegoers complain this spoils the film by giving away key plot point in the trailer.
The only information we have outside of the poster is Ghibli describing “How Do You Live?” as “a grand fantasy.” The studio also confirmed it is loosely inspired by Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same name. Which is a coming-of-age story about the development of a young boy after the death of his father, from an emotional and philosophical standpoint. But the word loosely is subjective and that storyline may have little to nothing to do with the film itself.
“How Do You Live?” opens in theaters and IMAX in Japan on July 14th. Currently, there is no date set for an international release, but we’ll keep you posted when one becomes available.