New Studio Ghibli film ‘The Boy and the Heron’ is coming to North America later this year

The movie is the first from legendary director Hayao Miyazaki in 10 years.

Gkids / Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki’s first film in ten years (and supposedly his last) premiered in Japan today — without any lead-up marketing from Studio Ghibli. Soon after, Gkids announced that it had acquired the animated movie’s North American rights. Called Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka (translated as “How Do You Live”) in Japan, the international release will use the title The Boy and the Heron. Gkids says it will arrive in North America “later this year.”

Little is known about the new movie, but Gkids describes the hand-drawn animated feature as “an original story written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.” Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki produces it with a musical score from Joe Hisaishi. It was previously announced that Miyazaki’s next film would have an IMAX release (as well as Dolby Atmos, Dolby Cinema and DTS:X) in Japan. However, it isn’t clear if it will screen in IMAX in the US.

When the film arrives stateside, don’t expect to see any more promotion than it got in Japan. Gkids says it will follow Studio Ghibli’s “unprecedented decision” to premiere the film in Japan without any marketing images, trailers, synopses ads — or any information — ahead of its surprise premiere today. Suzuki attributes the decision to honoring another era while hoping to spark imagination. “A poster and a title — that’s all we got when we were children. I enjoyed trying to imagine what a movie was about, and I wanted to bring that feeling back,” Suzuki reportedly told Japanese broadcaster NHK via The Japan Times and Deadline.

Gkids has distributed the North American versions of previous Miyazaki films, including The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There and From Up on Poppy Hill (among others). The 15-year-old producer and distributor has 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations in its short history. “Hayao Miyazaki is a living legend in filmmaking, as evidenced by his Academy Award win for Spirited Away and his two Oscar nominations for Howl’s Moving Castle and The Wind Rises,’” David Jesteadt, president of Gkids, wrote in a press release today. “It’s been ten years since the world has seen a new film from Miyazaki-san, and Gkids is so proud and honored to unveil his latest, highly anticipated masterpiece in North America.”