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Mamoru Hosoda's Talks Next Project 'Mirai'

Mamoru Hosoda is one of the most popular directors working in Japanese animation today. His last feature The Boy And The Beast was not only a major financial success in Japan but also won the award for Best Animated Feature from the Japanese Academy in 2016. Now he has begun to reveal the first details about what he is working on next.

Hosoda's new project will again be produced at Studio Chizu, and is going by the working title of Mirai. The film will be shopped around at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and the director has revealed a few early details in an interview with Variety.

Mirai will centre on a four-year-old boy who is not dealing well with the arrival of a new little sister. That is until he discovers a mysterious gateway to the past in his garden, that allows him to meet his mother as a child, his great-grandfather as a younger man and his sister as an adult woman. Through his adventures, he's finally able to step up and become the big brother he was meant to be.

The Boy And The Beast was the first film written by Hosoda alone without collaborator Satoko Okudera. The next film will be his second solo effort.

Hosoda explains that the new film will continue a common thread throughout his films. "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was about youth, Summer Wars was about family, Wolf Children, [was] about motherhood,  The Boy and The Beast was about the father, and my new film is about the relationship between brothers and sisters."

The film will tell an extremely personal story, as it was inspired by the birth of his second child, and the jealousy experienced by his eldest daughter at that time. He also explains that his wife is a major influence in the way he portrays mothers in his films. "Her influence on me is considerable. She’s the one who stimulates me and gives me the desire to make films. She gives me her strength and her ability to face problems and how to solve them."

The new film will see a move away from the more action-orientated feel of  The Boy And The Beast, and a return to more of the human drama of Wolf Children or The Girl Who Leapt Through Time "that talk about life and bring up the lived experiences of several generations."

You can read the interview in full here.