FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Hiromasa Yonebayashi is proving to be a strong director for Ghibli, but he hasn’t reached household name status like Miyazaki or Takahata have just yet. If they cultivate/guide that talent more, increasing his notoriety, he could be a key player along with Takahata in keeping good quality Ghibli films in production.
Given how Arrietty had screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and still strong "control" from the old gang one can't really say he has been fully tested (anymore than Goro with Kokurizoku) based on it though he performed eminently well as director there.
That test piece is the current Marnie which was left virtually untouched by the old gang. Based on Japanese reviews I've read it has been pretty well (if not rapturously) received by critics but its performance at box office has been somewhat disappointing. The target audience of high school girls is drawn in for sure but the huge peripheral demographies Ghibli famously brings in theatre across the board has been rather passive.
Combine this with weak commercial performance of Takahata's newest (which performed well per se for normal feature but the production costs for it were gigantic) and it's not exactly strong ground - though of course company like Ghibli can take few hits like this.
More like ever. Takahata is ancient and going by Kingdom of Dreams and Madness it's very unlikely he'll make any new films.
AND if he did he'd probably croak before finishing it and in the process would lead Ghibli to bankcruptcy, given his infamous irresponsibility with money and schedules.
There has been rumour going on for a while in Japanese internet in connection to Ghibli potentially closing down production section that Ghibli's animator staff would go on to join Khara and current Eva production.
In the event Ghibli does close down the studio and become pretty much copyright management company it's certainly the most likely scenario, given how Khara is supposedly the only other animation house to have animators on salaries and close personal connections between Anno and Ghibli top honchos.
There's zero reason to think "Nausicaa II"* is even in pre-production or anything. Only thing the news while back establish is that Miyazaki has given go-ahead to Anno if he one day wants to work on the material. This does not indicate there are any concrete plans for the film(s) and untill Rebuild is done with it's obvious Anno has his hands full with that production.
Now I won't be surprised if Anno decides to turn the 7-volume manga series into film trilogy or something after finishing Eva but I think we're talking about stuff 3-5 years in future in the best scenario. Whether or not production work is done at Ghibli or Khara then depends on which one if either animation studio exists at that point. Or they might've fused for all we know.
*If the Anno Nausicaa ever materializes it won't be a sequel but a retelling based on the manga.