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.

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Mary Norton‘s series of books about The Borrowers, a family of miniature people that live beneath the floorboards of a human family’s house, have already inspired a number of adaptations. The only American versions I know of are a 1970s TV movie and a late 90′s England-US co-production directed by the once undervalued, lately derailed English director Peter Hewitt.

Likely to be the most charming and beautiful version so far, however, is the upcoming Studio Ghibli adaptation, freshly announced for a Japanese release in the Summer of 2010. They do like keeping their cards close to their chests but we do know so far that they’ve relocated the story from 1950s England to modern day Japan. Other than that, it could all be very faithful or fancifully divergent. They certainly appear to have kept Arriety, the daughter of the Clock family of Borrowers, as the main character. Indeed, they’ve changed the title to The Borrower Arrietty, though this doesn’t necessarily suggest any major changes.

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