Crunchyroll acquires global distribution rights to Makoto Shinkai’s next film, will release internationally in early 2023

Image via Crunchyroll

Anime distributor Crunchyroll announced today it will distribute Makoto Shinkai’s next film, Suzume no Tojimari, internationally beginning in early 2023. The film, which releases in Japan on Nov. 11, 2022, succeeds Shinkai’s global box office and critical successes Your Name. and Weathering With You.

Crunchyroll will be the sole distributor of Suzume no Tojimari in North America. The company will partner with Wild Bunch International and Sony Pictures to co-distribute the title in Europe in French and German, and it will co-distribute the film with Sony Pictures In Latin America, Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East, and other parts of Europe. Crunchyroll did not acquire rights to distribute the film in Asia.

TOHO is the worldwide rights’ holder of the film, being produced by CoMix Wave Films and STORY. A press release detailed that the acquisition was finalized by Crunchyroll’s Chief Content Officer Asa Suehira, Wild Bunch International’s CEO Vincent Maraval and TOHO’s Akihiro Takeda at the currently ongoing Cannes Film Festival.

Crunchyroll President Rahul Purini said of the acquisition:

It’s with humility and honor that CoMix Wave Films, Makoto Shinkai, and TOHO have decided to partner with Crunchyroll on the next masterpiece…We know both animation fans and general audiences will fall in love with this prestigious film, and we can’t wait to see the world’s reaction and reception to it in cinemas, festivals and for awards consideration.

Vincent Maraval, President of the European film distribution company Wild Bunch, added:

We consider Makoto Shinkai as a major artist with whom we wanted to work for a long time. He is a talented director that we welcome in our family of cinema masters and we feel proud to be able to bring his vision to the cinema world all around the globe.

Suzume no Tojimari is described as a coming-of-age story about a 17-year-old girl, Suzume, who travels around Japan trying to prevent disaster. The official English synopsis continues:

Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster

Shinkai announced production was underway on the new film, which does not yet have an official English title, in December. In April, TOHO released the film’s first trailer. Alongside Your Name, producers Yoshihiro Furusawa and Genki Kawamura’s new production company STORY, the famed director is joined by veterans of his earlier blockbusters at CoMix Wave Films, including character designer Masayoshi Tanaka, longtime collaborator and art director Takumi Tanjo, and animation director Kenichi Tsuchiya.