Photo/IllutrationA scene from Makoto Shinkai’s new film "Weathering with You" ((c) 2019 "Weathering with You" Film Partners/ Provided by Toho Co.)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

The virtuoso director behind the smash-hit "Your Name." is racing against the clock with less than three weeks before the release of his next film.

"Our staff are still working on it at our studio as we speak," Makoto Shinkai told a news conference in Tokyo on July 2 about "Weathering with You," which will hit screens on July 19.

Owing to the tight schedule, there will be no preview screening, which is unconventional for such releases.

The new animated feature film is about a runaway who meets a girl with the power to make the weather sunny.

Shinkai's previous film, "Your Name.," was a huge success at the box office, becoming the second-highest grossing Japanese film.

"We're allowed to work on the new film until just before screening thanks to the success of 'Your Name.,'" he said.

"We are focusing on making an entertaining film. But there will be many surprises if you are expecting something classic. I think opinions will be divided among viewers."

"Weathering with You" centers on the relationship between a boy who runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo and a girl he meets there who has a mysterious power to turn the weather sunny.

Popular band Radwimps is in charge of the soundtrack, reprising its role in Shinkai's previous work.

“Weathering with You” will be screened in 140 countries or regions, more than that for "Your Name.," which has raked in 15 billion yen ($140 million) through screenings outside Japan, according to Toho Co.