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'Marnie' Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi Talks Post-Ghibli Future

Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There may be gearing up for its release in North America, but in Japan it's last years news. The film's director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, however, has recently been taking part in a number of events over in Japan and has revealed a couple of interesting facts about where his career is at right now.

Having directed two features at the studio - Marnie and Arriety- Yonebayashi has now revealed that he is no longer working at Ghibli. In fact, he stated that he had left late last year. Yonebayashi was seen as one of the rising stars at Ghibli. However it's not really that surprising that he would leave considering that Japan's most acclaimed animation studio is currently in a state of pause- with nothing currently in production.

Yonebayashi's first two features have been warmly received, but are very much produced within Ghibli's house style. Ending his affiliation with the house that Totoro built will hopefully allow him to truly find his voice. Speaking about what he might do next he has stated that his next project might be "the opposite" of Marnie. When Marnie Was There is apparently a very understated and quiet film, so after that he fancies taking on something a bit more exciting. Expect his next project to be more "cheerful", and he's also considering working on a fantasy.

Where the project might be made is anyone's guess, but with his talent proven it seems he shouldn't have trouble finding a studio willing to work with him. Don't expect it anytime soon though- at an earlier interview he reminded the audience that there had been a gap of four years between his first and second features.