Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kiki's Delivery Service is getting a live-action movie (sorta, kinda...)

Kiki's Delivery Service ranks as one of Studio Ghibli's most beloved animated movies, so it surprised a great many fans to learn that a live-action adaptation is in the works.

Except, the upcoming movie has everything and nothing to do with Ghibli's coming-of-age opus.

The film in question, Majo no Takkyūbin, is actually a planned adaptation of the story from Eiko Kadono's six novels of the same name which coincidentally served as the inspiration for the anime of Kiki's Delivery Service.

This isn't as strange or lawsuit-inducing as it might sound, however.  Many Studio Ghibli films are based on fairy tales or other literary works, such as Ponyo (Han Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid), Howl's Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones' novel of the same name), and Spirited Away (every child's nightmares), but the upcoming live-action Kiki's will  likely to cause a good bit of confusion in the Ghibli fanbase.

Mostly because Majo no Takkyūbin will feature the same characters as the anime, and is set to follow the same storyline of the anime with a few notable discrepancies.  This is mostly because Majo no Takkyūbin will adapt the first two novels of the series whereas Kiki's only dealt with (and changed many elements of) the first.

More interestingly, AnimeNewsNetwork reports that the adaptation is being directed by Takashi Shimizu who J-horror fans might recognize as the man who directed The Grudge / Juon.  So far, Studio Ghibli has outright denied having anything to do with the project - and that's not likely to change any time soon, so don't expect Ponyo and Sosuke to make their (rumored) cameo appearance.

For those interested in the live-action Majo no Takkyūbin, it's expected out in Japan around this time next year and will star Fūka Koshiba, a 16-year-old figure skater.