Studio Ghibli Adapting 'When Marnie Was There' Next as 2014 Release
by Alex Billington
December 13, 2013
While the master filmmaker himself, Hayao Miyazaki, is retiring once and for all, his legacy still lives on at Studio Ghibli in Japan. It's very likely that Miyazaki's final film, a romantic drama called The Wind Rises, will end up with an Oscar nomination (if not a win) in March. In the meantime, we're excited to report news of the next Ghibli project due in 2014. The animation studio announced they're adapting Joan G. Robinson's children's novel When Marnie Was There (or Omoide no Marnie), with Yonebayashi Hiromasa (of Arriety previously) directing. No date is set yet, but Toho will release in Japan next year. Read on for more.
The original book was first published in 1968. Here's the When Marnie Was There synopsis from Amazon:
Anna hasn't a friend in the world - until she meets Marnie among the sand dunes. But Marnie isn't all she seems… An atmospheric ghost story with truths to tell about friendship, families and loneliness. Anna lives with foster parents, a misfit with no friends, always on the outside of things. Then she is sent to Norfolk to stay with old Mr and Mrs Pegg, where she runs wild on the sand dunes and around the water. There is a house, the Marsh House, which she feels she recognises - and she soon meets a strange little girl called Marnie, who becomes Anna's first ever friend. Then one day, Marnie vanishes. A new family, the Lindsays, move into the Marsh House. Having learnt so much from Marnie about friendship, Anna makes firm friends with the Lindsays - and learns some strange truths about Marnie, who was not all she seemed…
It's essentially a coming-of-age story about a young girl that befriends another girl named Marnie, who just so happens to be a ghost. The book is said to have a "special place" on Hayao Miyazaki's 50 Recommended Children's Books list (in full here). Ghibli usually adapts their animated movies directly from children's stories or fables or classic stories from Japanese folk lore. This one sounds good already. The screenplay will be co-written by Niwa Keiko (From Up on Poppy Hill, Ocean Waves) and Ando Masahi (character designer on Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke). We'll be keeping an eye on the development of this new film, as well as the upcoming release of The Wind Rises. In the meantime, visit the official site for Marnie at: marnie.jp.
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