A must read for all Mamoru Oshii and Production IG fans – IG have just posted up a report – in English – from their recent press conference on the forthcoming Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai movie. Oshii isn’t directing this time – he just wrote the script – handing over the helm to Mizuho Nishikubo – a long time assistant of his on projects such as Patlabor 2, Ghost in the Shell and The Sky Crawlers. Both were at the press event, along with IG head Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, and on hand to answer questions:

Ishikawa-san, can you tell us more about how this project was started?

Ishikawa: I think it was about two years ago. Oshii-san and I were at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch for The Sky Crawlers sound recording sessions. I recall that Oshii-san kept me awake all night talking about his dream to make a big budget movie with huge box office returns. At that time, he did not mention Miyamoto Musashi at all.

But on the next day, as we where heading for Skywalker Ranch on a car, he suddenly told me, “I want to make a movie about Musashi.” I think that was the point where everything started. That made me reflect on the fact that you can spend 10 hours just talking, but good projects need just a 10-second chat on a car.

This movie could be described as a mix of Oshii’s deep philosophical insight and cool samurai action. I’m sure this is something no-one has ever tried or seen before, so I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Oshii: I must confess that this movie has come up very different from the image I had in mind when I wrote the script. But I wouldn’t say it’s a negative thing. I knew that Nishikubo could do a good job, and to this extent, he just confirmed my expectations.

The film is set to hit Japanese theaters this summer, and while there’s no indication of when we’ll see it in the west, the fact that IG are bothering to translate events like this shows they still take us foreign fans very seriously.

Stay tuned for more news as I get it.