Originally denied by production companies, it seems the rumors were in fact true. Details have finally been released on the upcoming Kiki’s Delivery Service live-action film.

Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyuubin) is a Japanese animated film that was written and directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki in 1989. Despite being written by Miyazaki, the film is actually based on a 1985 children’s novel by the same name. It was announced today that the franchise would be getting a live-action adaptation due for release next year (Spring 2014).

Directing the project will be Takashi Shimizu, best known for his directorial work in Juon/The Grudge and Reincarnation (Rinne).

Taking on the lead role of Kiki the witch is 16-year-old Fuka Koshiba. Fuku is an accomplished figure skater capable of pulling off a triple loop jump. The first female ice skater to pull off the difficult move at the Olpmyics is another Japanese ice skater, Mao Asada, who pulled it off at the 2012 winter games.

Kiki's Delivery Service Live ActionKoshiba has only one acting gig under her belt that she landed after being chosen from a talent pool which had over 35,000 applicants. She won the part and played the sister of Emi Takei in the 2012 drama Breathless Summer (Iki mo Dkinai Natsu). This will be Koshiba’s first movie and she was chosen from a pool of 500 candidates to take on the role of Kiki.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a coming of age story about a girl named Kiki and her black cat Jiji. Kiki spends a year by herself in a town and has to use her magical abilities to earn a living. Six volumes have been written with over 1.8 million copies being sold, in 8 different languages.

While both the live action film and the anime adapt their stories from the same novel series, the live-action film will have no direct connection to the Studio Ghibli animated film. The live-action film will be using the first two volumes of the novels as a source while the anime only adapted the first. This is likely what caused the majority of rumors and confusion surrounding the project. When asked, Studio Ghibli denied having anything to do with the upcoming project.

Stay tuned as we’ll bring you more details as they’re released.

Update 11/18/2013: A teaser trailer was released on the official webpage. We’re including it below. We’ll replace it with the full length trailer when it’s available.

Source: Yahoo.co.jp (Japanese)