In 2022, Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away will get its first live-action theatrical adaptation.
This is the first Studio Ghibli film to get a stage adaptation. In 2013, Studio Ghibli and Whole Hog Theatre collaborated on a live-action Princess Mononoke, which ran at London’s New Diorama Theatre.
This time, the Tony and Olivier Award-winning director John Caird (Les Misérables, Nicholas Nickleby, Daddy Long Legs) will pen and helm the adaptation.
Known as Sen to Chihiro in Japan, Spirited Away was released in 2001 and became a massive hit in Japan.
“I feel so excited and privileged to be working on the first-ever stage adaptation of Sen to Chihiro,” Caird said in an official statement. “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.”
“I must have spent a thousand hours working on Sen to Chihiro and look forward to spending many thousands more,” he said.
Both Mone Kamishiraishi and Kanna Hashimoto have been double-casted as the lead Chihiro. Mone is perhaps best known for her work in the anime Your Name while Hashimoto has starred in an array of film and TV.
“We, Hayao and I, both liked John’s vision. He is a person we can trust,” said Studio Ghibli’s Toshio Suzuki, who produced the original film. “I am looking forward to seeing Chihiro grow on stage under his direction.”
“I could tell how much he adores this story from his delighted face when I gave him a No-Face piggy-bank,” Suzuki added.
The stage version of Spirited Away will debut at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo Japan in February 2022 and run through March. The production will go on the road to Osaka (April), Fukuoka (May), Sapporo (June), and Nagoya (June and July).