GKIDS just announced its cast for the English dubbed version of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron (Kimitachi wa Dou Ikiru ka?) alongside a new poster. The newly announced cast is:
- Christian Bale as Shoichi Maki
- Dave Bautista as The Parakeet King
- Gemma Chan as Natsuko
- Willem Dafoe as Noble Pelican
- Karen Fukuhara as Lady Himi
- Mark Hamill as Granduncle
- Robert Pattinson as Gray Heron
- Florence Pugh as Kiriki
- Luca Padovan as Mahito Maki
- Mamadou Athie, Tony Revolori, and Dan Stevens as The Parakeets
As previously known, the staff includes Miyazaki, who directed, storyboarded, and wrote the screenplay for The Boy and the Heron. Miyazaki was joined by Joe Hisashi (music), Takeshi Honda (character design, animation director), Youji Takeshige as art director, Koji Kasamatsu as sound director, and Atsushi Okui (photography director).
The Boy and the Heron releases nationwide in the United States on December 8 but will hold earlier screenings, headlining the Animation Is Film Festival 2023 (October 18 – 22) in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The Concierge is also set to screen there. AIF’s executive director highlighted the importance of hosting The Boy and the Heron, saying, “‘Animation Is Film’ is not just the name of our festival, it is its mission. New films from Studio Ghibli and Aardman are seismic cinematic events and a reason for movie lovers of any medium to rejoice. We are so proud to present them in Los Angeles.” The Boy and the Heron marks Studio Ghibli’s first film to get a simultaneous IMAX release, and will open the Toronto Is Film Festival (TIFF).
The Boy and the Heron is loosely inspired by Genzaburou Yoshino’s How Do You Live? (Kimitachi wa Dou Ikiru ka) and marks Ghibli and Miyazaki’s latest film. The film started development in 2016 after Miyazaki’s Boro the Caterpillar was expected to be his last and was released in Japan on July 14, 2023. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki described The Boy and the Heron as Japan’s most expensive film, attracting notable attention for his decision to do little promotion for the film. Nevertheless, The Boy and the Heron has grossed over $50mn. While Miyazaki announced retirement again after The Boy and the Heron, Suzuki says that he is currently working on his next film. Ghibli was recently acquired by longtime partner NTV, turning the company into its subsidiary, and making Miyazaki the honorary chairman.
GKIDS, which holds the North American rights to The Boy and the Heron, introduces the film:
A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning. A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation, in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.
Source: GKIDS Films
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