Back in December, plans were revealed for a kabuki stage play adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki’s acclaimed Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind anime film, which is set to run in Tokyo from December 6 to 25. Its existence means Miyazaki had to approve of it, which is interesting considering he turned down Hollywood attempts at a live-action adaptation multiple times.
This little tidbit comes from Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, who attended a Tokyo press conference promoting the play. According to Suzuki, Hollywood studios have made multiple offers to adapt Nausicaä, but Miyazaki shot every single one of them down.
With that in mind, it’s understandable that Suzuki thought Miyazaki might not be too keen on the idea of a kabuki play. It turns out Miyazaki was quick to give it the green light with a couple stipulations, so what did he insist upon that made this such an easy prospect?
First of all, Suzuki said Miyazaki told him the title, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, cannot be changed. As for the second condition, Suzuki delivered this one with a chuckle. Miyazaki said he would give it the go ahead, but he “will do nothing to help with the production, which includes not attending any press conferences.”
The first rule brings us back to 1985, when the U.S. theatrical release of Nausicaä involved a heavily cut version of the film with a new title, Warriors of the Wind.
To put this into perspective, Suzuki ruminated on how much Nausicaä means to Miyazaki. “This is something I know from spending so much time with Miyazaki: Nausicaä is, to him, his most important work,” he explained. “Miyazaki truly put his soul, and all of his thoughts, into it.”
While those in Tokyo eagerly await the December premiere of the kabuki play, the rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief knowing we won’t have to sit through a Hollywood adaptation anytime soon.