Studio Ghibli's Anime Classic Spirited Away Is Becoming A Stage Play

The new stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar-winning 2001 will premiere in 2022.


Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar-winning 2001 anime film Spirited Away is being adapted for the stage. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a theatrical version of the Studio Ghibli classic will premiere in Tokyo in February 2022.

The stage adaption of Spirited Away will be written and directed by theatre veteran John Caird, with the full cooperation of Studio Ghibli. Caird was the original director of the hugely successful Les Misérables in the '80s, and his extensive credits include many years working for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in the UK.

The movie follows the adventures of a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro as she enters as a strange and sometimes scary fantasy world heavily influenced by Japanese folklore. In a statement, Miyazaki's producing partner Toshio Suzuki said, "We, Hayao and I, both liked John's vision--he is a person we can trust. I am looking forward to seeing Chihiro grow on stage under his direction."

Spirited Away was the sixth movie that Miyazaki made for Studio Ghibli, the company he founded in 1985 with director Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki. It was a big international success, grossing more than $383.4 million at the worldwide box office and winning the Academy Award for best animated feature in 2002.

Miyazaki's most recent film was 2013's The Wind Rises. Although the director stated at the time that he would be retiring from filmmaking, in 2016, a new Miyazaki feature was announced. The film is titled How Do You Live?, but don't expect to see it for some time. In May last year, Suzuki stated that 36 minutes of the hand-drawn film had been completed so far and it would be finished "in the next three years."

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