The first still image from the upcoming live-action adaptation of Eiko Kadono's popular children's novel series Majo no Takkyūbin was released in Japan on Friday. The image features 16-year-old Fūka Koshiba as the young witch Kiki, the character made famous by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's 1989 anime film adaptation Kiki's Delivery Service. The live-action film adaptation is slated to open in Japan in spring 2014.
Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge/Juon, Tomie: Rebirth) is directing the film. Koshiba, an accomplished figure skater (she can perform the triple loop jump), was chosen from 35,390 candidates in the "Girls Audition 2011" competition. She then made her acting debut as the sister of actress Emi Takei (Rurouni Kenshin) in the 2012 television series Iki mo Dekinai Natsu. She was chosen from an audition of about 500 for Majo no Takkyūbin, her first film role. Satoko Okudera (Summer Wars, Wolf Children, The Princess and the Pilot) is writing the script for the film.
The six novel volumes of Majo no Takkyūbin follow the coming of age of Kiki with her black cat Jiji. They have sold 1.8 million copies and have been translated into eight languages, including English, Italian, Chinese, Swedish, and Korean. Despite the fact that both films adapt the same 1985-2009 novel series, this live-action film has no direct connection to the Ghibli anime film. The anime adapted the first novel volume, while the live-action film will cover the first two volumes.
Annick Press published the first novel with an English translation by Lynne E. Riggs in 2003. That same year, Buena Vista Home Entertainment/Disney released Ghibli's film on DVD in North America.
Are you guys excited for this? I never saw the Ghibi movie, oop at me~