Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favorite directors, and him and the animators of Studio Ghibli always work in such secrecy it's hard to get much word about their upcoming projects till they finally come out, but thanks to a recent interview in Cut magazine, it seems that Miyazaki's next movie will be a direct sequel to his 1992 movie about a fighter pilot cursed to look like a pig, Porco Rosso.
The sequel, tentatively titled Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie, is a rarity for the folks at Ghibli. Only one direct sequel has ever been made to a Ghibli movie, and that was the Miyazaki short, Mei and the Kittenbus, that was a sequel to My Neighbor Totoro. While The Cat Returns was a loose sequel to Whisper of the Heart, the only thing the two movies shared was the supporting character of the Baron. There is no confirmation yet whether this is a short or a feature from Miyazaki, but the general assumption is that this will be another full blown feature length Porco Rosso adventure. Word from Miyazaki is that he wanted to make a movie about a guy after making so many movies with female protagonists. The setting will be the Spanish Civil War, which seems to fall into place shortly after the first Porco Rosso concluded.
While I love Miyazaki, Porco Rosso is my least favorite of his movies, and if I was to be honest, I would much rather see a feature length sequel to My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, or even a sequel to Castle in the Sky. His epic adventure Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind had volumes upon volumes of stories published in Manga form, that Miyazaki wrote himself, that went way beyond the initial movie. I'd love to see some of those Nausicaa manga adapted more so than a sequel to Porco Rosso, but I think that perhaps Porco Rosso and its characters just hold a special place in Miyazaki's heart that none of us can understand, and if this is what Miyazaki wants to do, I'll see it when it comes stateside.