Studio Ghibli is shuttering its animation feature film department… depending on who you ask.
Hypable reports Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli’s general manager, took to Japanese TV to announced the closure of the wing that produced such classic movies as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and many, many more.
However, SlashFilm (and many others) insist this is just a misinterpretation of Suzuki’s statements, claiming he merely meant they were looking at “housecleaning” or “restructuring” the department. (That still ain’t great.)
Exacerbating the closure angle is the fact Ghibli’s most recent movies have flopped at the box office. The retirement of legendary co-founder Hayao Miyazaki in 2013 was also a major blow, with his successor, Suzuki, abandoning film production to act solely as general manager.
Should the animation feature film department close, Ghibli would exist solely to manage trademarks and copyrights, but might potentially outsource new projects (as they did before Porco Rosso).