×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wild Bunch, Miyazaki Re-Team on ‘The Wind Rises’ (EXCLUSIVE)

'Rises' will have its North-American premiere at Toronto

In the run-up to the late summer fest season, European powerhouse Wild Bunch has boarded Japanese auteur Hayao Miyazaki’s epic “The Wind Rises,” continuing its long-term relationships with both Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.  

Wild Bunch has taken international sales rights to “Rises.”

“Rises,” which according to Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval “marks a  major change in Miyazaki’s career,” bowed in Japan on July 20 and has been a local B.O. hit, grossing an estimated $57 million through Aug.15. It’s now set to roll out at Venice and Toronto, where it will have its North American premiere. It will also play at San Sebastian and New York. 

Miyazaki’s follow-up to “Ponyo,” “Rises” is loosely based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer and designer of the Zero fighter plane, which was used by the Japanese army during World War II.

In spite of its commercial success in Japan, “Rises,” which sheds light on aggressions perpetrated during WWII, has reportedly stirred a controversy among local conservatives who have denounced the film’s pacifist stance as un-partiotic.  The polemic was also fueled by a recent essay penned by Miyazaki (published in the monthly mag Neppu in July), criticizing prime minister Shinzo Abe’s push to amend Japan’s “peace constitution” and rebuild Japan’s military force.

Although Wild Bunch only handles very select toon titles, it has built a strong relationship with Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli from 2002’s “Spirited Away,” not only repping sales rights on new titles – “Spirited,” then “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Ponyo” – but also selling and engineering theatrical releases over the world for Miyasaki’s now revered earlier classics.     

Wild Bunch is also collaborating with Studio Ghibli and France’s Why Not Prods. on Michael Dudok de Wit’s project “Red Turtle.”

Though Wild Bunch is best known for bringing on a new generation of French and often foreign helmers, it has built part of its fortunes and company philosophy around support for the careers of established directors who in its eyes deserved wider audiences: Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard and, indeed, Miyazaki.

Establishing relationships with a key nucleus of directors and producers in and outside France, Wild Bunch boasts a festival presence second-to-none among sales agents at this month’s Locarno and the upcoming Venice Festival, where it also has three titles, selling as well Philippe Garrel’s “Jealousy” and Patrice Leconte’s English-language debut, “A Promise,” starring Rebecca Hall. A romantic period drama, “A Promise” is based Stefan Zweig’s novella “Journey into the Past.” Maraval said he expects “‘A Promise’ will tap into the audiences of such pics as Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Quartet,’ Christian Vincent’s ‘Haute Cuisine’ and Gilles Bourdos’ ‘Renoir.'”

At Toronto, in another pick-up, Wild Bunch will sell Nicole Garcia’s “Going Away” (“Un beau dimanche”), a drama toplining  Pierre Rochefort (Farewell, My Queen”) as  a loner who falls for a troubled mother played Louise Bourgoin (“Adele Blanc-Sec”).

Wild Bunch will also present at Toronto an edited version of Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties,” which Lionsgate will release in the U.S., in the Gala section, along with the company’s other Cannes players, Palme d’Or-winning “La Vie d’Adele: Chapter 1 & 2,” “Young and Beautiful,” “Jimmy P.,” “The Bastards” and “Like Father, Like Son;” and its three Locarno-selected titles: “Tonnerre,” “On the Way To School” and “Evening Falls On Bucharest  Or Metabolism.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

  • Soul Movie

    Pixar's 'Soul' Announces Voice Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey to Star

    Disney debuted a first look at upcoming Pixar film “Soul” at the D23 expo in Anaheim, Calif. and announced its star-studded voice cast. “Soul” imagines that every person on earth comes pre-installed with a soul formed and perfected in a cosmic realm. Jamie Foxx will play a middle-school music teacher on earth who dreams of [...]

  • Emma Stone Variety Actors on Actors

    First Look at Emma Stone in Disney's Live-Action 'Cruella' Drops

    Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil is significantly more punk rock than her animated counterpart. Stone appeared via video message to debut the first look of the titular character in Disney’s “Cruella” at D23 on Saturday, also revealing that it will take place in the punk rock era of the 1970s. In the first photo, Stone [...]

  • ‘Mulan’ Star Skips D23 Press Amid

    'Mulan' Star Crystal Yifei Liu Skips D23 Amid International Controversy

    Crystal Yifei Liu, the star of Disney’s live action remake of “Mulan,” skipped the press line and Disney panel at Disney’s D23 expo Saturday in the heat of the #BoycottMulan controversy. Unlike the other portions of the Saturday Disney panel, which featured both stars and directors for the other films presented, the “Mulan” panel was [...]

  • Marvel Stars Want Tom Holland's Spider-Man

    Marvel Stars Want to Keep Tom Holland's Spider-Man in the MCU

    Marvel fans aren’t the only ones heartbroken that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might not be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore. “It really is sad. First off, he’s the greatest Spider-Man to me. He actually has that youthful energy,” Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch in the MCU, told Variety at D23 on Friday. “He’s been [...]

  • Kit Harington

    'Game of Thrones' Star Kit Harington Joins 'The Eternals'

    Jon Snow is leaving the North. “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington is joining the cast of “The Eternals” as Dane Whitman, also known as the Black Knight, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced Saturday on the main stage at D23. Feige also confirmed Gemma Chan’s appearance in the film as Sersi, another member of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content