CANNES–Gkids, the U.S. distributor of 11 best animated feature Oscar nominees, has acquired North American rights for “Weathering With You,” the new film from director Makoto Shinkai and producer Genki Kawamura.
Gkids has set an awards-qualifying run for 2019 with a theatrical release in early 2020, in both the original Japanese and a new English-language version.
Shinkai and Kawamura’s previous film, “Your Name,” set box-office records in Japan and around the world, grossing $358 million worldwide, becoming the third highest-grossing non-English language and non-Chinese movie of all time. It’s currently getting a major studio live-action remake from J.J. Abrams.
“Weathering With You” follows Hodaka, a high-school freshman who runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, where he soon finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The unusually gloomy and rainy weather feels like a dark omen for his future. He lives his days in isolation until finding work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. One day, Hokoda meets a girl called Hina on a busy street corner. Bright and strong-willed, she possesses a strange and wonderful ability to stop the rain and clear the sky.
The film is the highly anticipated follow-up to Shinkai and Kawamura’s previous, record-breaking collaboration.
“Gkids is thrilled to be working with Makoto Shinkai and Genki Kawamura on ‘Weathering With You,’ following their blockbuster hit ‘Your Name,’” said Gkids founder and CEO Eric Beckman. “We have been huge fans of Makoto Shinkai since his breathtaking ‘5 Centimeters Per Second,’ and he is unquestionably one of the top animation filmmakers working today.”
He added: “‘Weathering With You’ combines Shinkai’s unparalleled visually beautiful and detailed animation with a riveting emotional story that will be sure to connect with audiences worldwide.”
Gkids is a producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. It also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections.
Gkids also produces the annual LA-based film festival Animation Is Film, which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their work to the fullest range of expression.