Tokyo, Feb 27 (efe-epa).- The Oscar-winning 2001 animated film “Spirited Away” will be adapted for the theater by director John Caird (Les Misérables) and will take to the stage in Tokyo in February 2022.
The adaptation of the original work of Studio Ghibli, which is also involved in the project, will be produced by Toho film studio and will feature Japanese actresses Kanna Hashimoto, 22, and Mone Kamishiraishi, 23, in the roles of the protagonist Chihiro, according to a statement by Toho.
“We, Hayao and I, liked John’s vision; he is a person we can trust,” said the producer of the animated film, Toshio Suzuki, expressing his approval, and that of director Hayao Miyazaki, of the stage adaptation.
“I am looking forward to seeing Chihiro grow on stage under his direction,” he added.
Studio Ghibli had been reluctant to do stage adaptations until 2019, when it authorized the adaptation of “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” a manga by Miyazaki, for the Kabuki theater on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the film’s release.
Caird, winner of a Tony Award for best director for the musical “Les Misérables” and honorary associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said he feels “excited and privileged” to work on this first stage adaptation.
“I have for many years now regarded Miyazaki Hayao as one of the pre-eminent geniuses of world cinema and the greatest ever proponent of the anime form,” Caird said in a statement.
The theatrical adaptation of “Spirited Away” is expected to premiere at Tokyo’s Imperial Theater in February 2022 and continue until March, before touring the Japanese archipelago.
Toho, which owns the distribution rights to the work, hopes to be able to bring it to other cities in Asia and Europe in the future.
“Spirited Away” premiered in 2001 and became hugely popular, leading to an Oscar. The film was the biggest blockbuster in Japan until December 2020, when it was overtaken by the animated film “Kimetsu No Yaiba” (Demon Slayer).
The plot of “Spirited Away” revolves around Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl who moves with her parents to a new home and ends up lost in a parallel world of spiritual beings dominated by the witch Yubaba. The girl faces an existential crisis and several challenges to recover her parents and return to the human world. EFE-EPA