Hayao Miyazaki Turned Down Hollywood But Allowed Kabuki Version of Nausicaä

Screenshot: Jiji Press
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Don’t expect a Hollywood version of Nausicaä. As NHK reports, Hayao Miyazaki has turned down that offer. But you can look forward to a kabuki adaptation this December.

Announced last year, the kabuki version will star Onoe Kikunosuke as Nausicaä and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Princess Kushana. Keiko Niwa, who has written several Ghibli films, is penning the script.

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In the past few years, several well-known manga, including One Piece, have been adapted into kabuki plays. A live-action version of Nausicaä, however, seemed unlikely.

“For Miyazaki, out of all the various works he’s done, Nausicaä is the most important,” said Studio Ghibli producer Toshi Suzuki at a press conference for the kabuki version (via Jiji Press).

The Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga ran from 1982 and 1994. A feature animated version was released in 1984.

Talks about a kabuki version of Nausicaä began several years back. “I thought he was going to be put off by it,” Suzuki said. “There had been various requests to do a live-action version, even from Hollywood. He turned them all down.”

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Knowing how important Nausicaä is for Miyazaki, Suzuki was willing to offer Princess Mononoke, instead, thinking that it would be suitable for kabuki. Previously, Studio Ghibli OKed a Princess Mononoke stage version that debuted in London in 2013.

But this time, Miyazaki gave the green light for Nausicaä. However, he had two stipulations. “First, he said that he didn’t want the title of Nausicaä changed,” said Suzuki. “That’s what he said. Second, he would not offer assistance to press events and whatnot.”

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The kabuki version will run from December 6 to 25 in Tokyo.

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Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.