Kiki's Delivery Service

Hayao Miyazaki‘s status as a master of animation is undisputed, but would his stories work so well with flesh-and-blood actors? If a new rumor making the rounds is to be believed, Takashi Shimizu may be trying to find out. According to this report, the The Grudge director has signed on to direct a big-budget live-action remake of Kiki’s Delivery Service, Miyazaki’s anime fantasy classic from 1989. Hit the jump to keep reading.

Twitch got the word from one of their inside sources. The site emphasizes that the story should strictly be treated as rumor for now, as they’ve been unable to verify it to their usual standards. Still, they’ve gotten some big, reliable scoops in the past, so as unlikely as it sounds, there could be some truth to this one.

Based on a 1985 novel of the same title by Eiko Kadono, Miyazaki’s film follows a young witch who ventures into the big city for a year to try and make it on her own. She begins working with a bakery as a courier, using her broomstick-flying abilities to make deliveries around town. While Kiki’s Delivery Service isn’t quite as iconic as, say, Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke, its lovable heroine and gorgeous visuals have kept it popular with anime fans of all ages.

There’s plenty of reason to be skeptical about Twitch‘s story (as Twitch itself admits). Even if Studio Ghibli really has given their OK — and that’s already a big if — Shimizu seems like a pretty odd choice. He’s best known as a horror director; among other things, he’s written and directed most of the Ju-on series as well as their American remakes The Grudge and The Grudge 2. His next film 7500 also deals with terrifying supernatural forces, this time on a trans-Pacific flight. The witchy aspects of Kiki’s Delivery Service may be kinda-sorta up Shimizu’s alley, but the sweet, kid-friendly tone definitely isn’t.

But then again, stranger things have happened. If the rumor pans out, would you watch a live-action Kiki’s? Or do you consider the very idea to be sacrilege?

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