Is he retired or isn’t he? Director and beloved artist Hayao Miyazaki, declared, not for the first time, back in 2013 that he was retiring from feature filmmaking. However, only four years after this statement, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki has confirmed during a pre-Oscars interview regarding the nominated animation, The Red Turtle, Miyazaki has come out of retirement and is currently working on a new feature-length film. Details of this film have as yet to be revealed.

According to previous reports, Miyazaki’s new feature-length film, which is being produced by Toshio Suzuki, is aiming for a release before the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 – With the upcoming Olympics mentioned, could we be in for a story that is somehow related? Merely speculation of course, but it may just be the reason for Miyazaki being enticed out of his self-declared retirement, a commission to mark the occasion of such a prestigious event landing in their country.

The Japanese director’s animation career started back in 1963 when he joined Toei animation and has since gone on to span over five decades, whilst largely unknown in the West, Miyazaki garnered both critical and commercial success. It wasn’t until Miramax Films released Princess Mononoke in 1997 that audiences outside of Japan started to appreciate his work and in 2001 his animation Spirited Away not only won the Picture of the year at the Japanese Academy Awards but was also the first anime film to win an American Academy award too.

In his four-year retirement, Miyazaki wasn’t taking things easy at home with his feet up, far from it. Miyazaki actually spent his days at Studio Ghibli to carry on working. He also decided to move with the modern world of computer animation and started learning how to animate on a computer with a new short CG offering called Kemushi no Boro.

We wait with baited breath to see what Miyazaki will grace us with next.