Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie


Animation legend Hayao Miyazaki has spoken of making sequel Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie in the past, but is it ever going to happen?

Hayao Miyazaki once talked of making sequel Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie, but what are the odds of it happening now? Hayao Miyazaki is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, which is responsible for some of the most acclaimed animated movies ever produced. Miyazaki himself has directed movies such as Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind and Spirited Away, while the studio is also behind the likes of devastating World War 2 drama Grave Of The Fireflies. They’ve only produced one live-action project in the form of short film Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo, a 2012 prequel to Nausicaä.

One of Miyazaki’s lesser sung – but still fantastic – movies is Porco Rosso from 1992. This was based on his manga The Age Of The Flying Boat and while it initially started as an inflight short for Japanese airlines, it soon expanded to feature-length. The story focuses on the cynical, bounty hunting title character, a pilot afflicted by a curse that makes him look like a pig. Despite a premise that sounds a tad silly it also touches on dark themes involving war and the rise of fascism, and everything from the iconic Porco Rosso plane to its animation and charming cast of characters makes it a classic.

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Porco Rosso cast Michael Keaton (Batman) in the title role for the English language dub, in addition to Cary Elwes as Donald and Susan Egan as Madame Gina. While the movie was essentially a pet project for its director it was also a surprise hit, and in 2010 talk of Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie began, but will this belated sequel happen?

Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie Is Set During The Spanish Civil War

porco rosso anime 1992

Outside of occasional shorts like My Neighbor Totoro follow-up Mei And The Kittenbus, Studio Ghibli aren’t really in the sequel business. One project where they were willing to make an exception was Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie, which Hayao Miyazaki spoke of during a 2010 interview with Cut magazine (via Anime News Network).

Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There) was linked to the director’s chair for the follow-up, though it appeared the movie was more of a hobby for Miyazaki than something Ghibli was actively pursuing.

Studio Ghibli Downsized In 2014

porco rosso plane

Following the announcement that Miyazaki would retire following 2013’s The Wind Rises, Studio Ghibli downsized in 2014, leading to key talent departing. For a time it seemed they may not produce another feature at all, though Gorō Miyazaki is directing the upcoming Earwig And The Witch while his father Hayao has unretired and is currently working on How Do You Live?

Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie Probably Won’t Happen

porco rosso studio ghibli

While fans would love to revisit Porco Rosso’s characters and world, the sequel is looking unlikely. There’s been no indication in the last decade they’re pursuing it, and it’s likely once work is complete on How Do You Live? that Hayao Miyazaki will retire for good. Even a Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie short would be great, but sadly, it’s looking very unlikely now.

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Updated: November 17, 2020 — 9:40 pm

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