The official website for ex-Studio Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty, When Marnie Was There)'s new anime feature film Mary to Mahou no Hana/Mary and The Witch's Flower today posted a 60-second trailer introducing the voice of its protagonist Mary played by 19-year-old actress Hana Sugizaki for the first time.
She previously voiced a glasses-wearing girl named Sayaka in Yonebyashi's 2014 film Marnie, and is now also cast as the main heroine Rin Asano in the upcoming live-action film adaptation of Hiroaki Samura's Mugen no Junin/Blade of the Immortal action jidaigeki manga to be released on April 29, 2017.
Mary to Mahou no Hana/Mary and The Witch's Flower is confirmed to be released in Japan on July 8, 2017, distributed by Toho. According to producer Yoshiaki Nishimura, the production has been behind
the schedule as expected and the voice recording session will not take place anytime soon.
The anime film is based on British novelist Mary Stewart's children novel The Little Broomstick published
in 1971, and is the first film animated by Studio Ponoc. The studio was established by ex-Ghibli producer
Yoshiaki Nishimura on April 15, 2015. He served as the producer for Isao Takahata's The Tale of the Princess
Kaguya and Yonebayashi's Marnie, and left Ghibli along with Yonebayashi in the end of 2014.
Many ex-Ghibli creators and staff have joined the studio for the production of Mary and The Witch's Flower.
According to Eiga.com, when launching the project, Nishimura persuaded Yonebayashi to direct the film by
saying, "Let's make the 21st century edition of Kiki's Delivery Service!"
Screenplay: Riko Sakaguchi (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya *co-written with Takahata)
Screenplay/Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Music: Muratsugu Takamatsu (Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Aidoru Rirupuri, When Marnie Was There)
Producer: Yoshiaki Nishimura