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Lupin III Coming to Hollywood 238

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the here's-hoping dept.
Secret anime ninja writes "A story in today's Toronto Star says, "Master thief Lupin the Third, a comic book hero in Japan for more than 30 years, will soon make his Hollywood debut." The story goes on to say that it's been optioned by the producer of Minority Report, Schindler's List and Jurassic Park." Lupin III is currently airing on Cartoon Network and several Lupin movies are available on DVD. Castle of Cagliostro, directed by Miyazaki is a great movie.
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Lupin III Coming to Hollywood

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  • for those of us not in the know, anyone wanna step up and fill us in a bit about this?
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:31AM (#5432912)
      Imagine the A-Team, with incredibly skinny legs, and instead of helping people out, they try to rip people off. Oh, and a hot chick that is a backstabbing bitch, and also the only character with normal looking legs.
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by skahshah (603640) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:48AM (#5433056)
      If you want to know more about the original Arsène Lupin, gentleman-burglar, and the author, Maurice Leblanc: here [arsene-lupin.com] and there [coolfrenchcomics.com]
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by Thomas M Hughes (463951) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @11:07AM (#5433183)
      for those of us not in the know, anyone wanna step up and fill us in a bit about this?
      I'll leave the technical details about the show history out for someone else to fill in, but I can give you a basic rundown of the plot and the characters...

      Lupin the 3rd is basically a story about the exploits of four legendary thieves and an Interpol investigator who's constantly on their trail. They seem to try to rob and rip people off more for the challenge of it then for the actual money (though, they do seem to enjoy the money as well). Central to Lupin's character is that he doesn't seem to be a killer, just an unorthodox thief.

      Lupin (pronounced Loop-ON, I believe) is the grandson of a legendary criminal, and has taken on his legacy of performing impossible crimes under the very nose of authorities many times. His main ability seems to be his quick wit and extreme intelligence when it comes to stealing things. He (as well as the rest of the crew) is a fairly good master of disguise.

      Jigan is a guy who tends to wear a suit and a dark hat, drinks an awful lot, and is a damn good shot with a revolver. He's generally a rather pragmatic figure who tends to just like hanging out with Lupin, because Lupin's an interesting guy.

      Goemon is a legendary swordsman (a kind of stereotypical samurai), who also enjoys just hanging out with Lupin and Jigan. Of all the characters, he is probably the most outlandish, performing rather impossible feats with his sword. However, it would not be difficult to mute this down to reality's level.

      Fujiko (not positive on the spelling of these names by the way) is who Lupin is particularly smitten with. She has rather um...large breasts (sorry, there's really little else to say, since they're kind of central to her character). Of the 4 criminal characters, she is probably the most in it for money. She is probably the best at disgusing herself, and will often backstab multiple people just to get more money for herself. She often attempts to pull one over on the other main characters to enrich herself. Jigan and Goemon aren't too fond of her, but put up with her because of Lupin.

      Zenigata is the Interpol inspector who has gotten pretty good at figuring out where and how Lupin works, but he has some behavioral problems so the local authorities tend to not believe him or comply with him fully when he makes requests. As such, he's usually there to witness Lupin's hijinks, but he never seems to catch him. Also referred to as "Pops."

      That's the basics of it. Its a pretty fun, though simple show.
      • Re:Question (Score:2, Informative)

        by M-2 (41459)
        Just to follow up, the creator of Lupin III, who uses the name 'Monkey Punch', did once note that Fujiko was named after Fujiyama (better known to us foreign devils as Mount Fuji), the largest peak in Japan. Because, well, she had... large peaks herself.

        This has been your totally useless trivia moment.
      • Good summary. A few more notes:

        "Lupin", being French, is pronounced like "loop Ann", accent on the "Ann".

        Goemon's sword is supposed to be a legendary sword that can cut anything. Some of the humor is seeing him cut a tree in half or something like that. And he's annoyed each time he uses it on an object instead of a person--which is all the time since it's not a violent show. "Once again, I cut a worthless object."

        You got it right: "Fujiko" is the correct way to spell her name in Roman letters. She cares more about money than Lupin does, a lot.

        steveha
      • by Alkaiser (114022) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @12:47PM (#5433981) Homepage
        Lupin (pronounced Loo-PAN/PON. The syllablization cuts after the "lu" and depending on who's pronouncing it, it'll sound like Lu-PON or Lu-PAN. If you watch the dubbed anime in the US, they often refer to him as Ru-pan but that's not quite right.) is pretty much like described above, but in addition, will never take the same punch twice. This is why in certain cases you'll see him absorb a tremendous amount of damage...he's studying the foe's moves for the next time they meet.

        Also, Lupin will be smitten by whichever single female the writers put in the plot for that day. He's not really obsessed with Fujiko...she just happens to be in range more often than other women. Lupin has his heart swiped as often as he swipes stuff.

        Jigen Daisuke is Lupin's main sidekick. Looks exactly like Abe Lincoln, and is vicious with his gun...as long as he has his hat.

        Goemon has a love/hate relationship with Lupin and Jigen. Sometime it seems like the group is begrudging friends, other times it seems like Goemon's only there to get paid. His katana cuts through anything. (In the intro to the PS2 game, he cuts a suspension bridge in half.)

        Fujiko is a female character from Lupin's past who hangs around his present to get her share of the loot. It's implied that they had something going on before the comic started but it's never really revealed if this is only in Lupin's mind, or if Fujiko actually agrees upon this. She's a tease and uses her...ample skills to fulfill her role and is basically in it for the money, though if it comes down to it, she'll begrudgingly choose saving the guys over getting away with the loot.

        Zenigata is an inspector that runs around trying to catch Lupin. If he does, it's never for more than a couple minutes, kinda like the A-Team. Zenigata will declare various little truces with Lupin, especially in the movies, because he sees that Lupin's trying to stop a greater evil. (usually for money/the girl.) This allows for Zenigata to look like he's still doing work, instead of just chasing Lupin all the time.

        Castle of Cagliostro is the Lupin film most fans will recommend you watch. It's good stuff. I also enjoyed "The Legend of Harimao's Treasure" and "The Fuma Conspiracy".
      • My first thought is;
        Toshiro Mifune as Goemon.
        (maybe 15 years ago. . . :(...

        My impression from watching several episodes on Cartoon Network is that Lupin isn't really a thief, per-se, rather, he tends to prefer foiling other criminals' plans by either stealing from them, or pre-emptively stealing something that the other criminal was going to steal - and later the valuable object or money ends up getting returned or destroyed anyway.
        (seems the insurance companies are the big losers here).

        One other observation -
        Castle Cagliostro was an awesome movie - and Steven Speilberg is quoted back in the 80's as claiming it to be the greatest action-adventure movie of all-time. I don't think he's too far off.

    • Although I watch a lot of Anime and have been doing so for many years (my first one being Space Firebird 2772 [imdb.com] back in 1980) I first came to know of Lupin III through this pretty cool and unusal game called Punch the Monkey [lupinencyclopedia.com]. It's a non-violent game based on your skill to press the various PS buttons to the rythm of remixes of the original Lupin III music and animated flicks. For even more Lupin III games check this out [lupinencyclopedia.com].

      Cheers!..

  • What im wondering is how much money they'll be able to make off the crazed American anime fans. Are there more than i think?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:28AM (#5432894)
    Castle of Cagliostro is an excellent anime movie, with lots of humor and action.

    Recommended!

    As for life-action: we'll see it when we see it... I doubt Hollywood can do it, the character of Lupin the 3rd doesn't seem to fit any of their stereotypes.
  • Funny (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:31AM (#5432907)
    First american movie based on a japanese anime based on a french book (arsene lupin).
    Will a french adaptation be made after that?
    • I wish they'd translate those Arsene Lupin books to English. I read the one translated one I've ever seen and it was a hoot.

      • A-ha! A friend just showed me they have released some of the books in paper.

        Search your favorite bookseller for Maurice LeBlanc (the author) if you want to read the inspiration for this series.

      • Re:Funny (Score:4, Informative)

        by Robotech_Master (14247) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @02:29PM (#5434988) Homepage Journal
        You can actually find quite a few of the Arsene Lupin novels and stories--including a couple that I donated to be scanned for Gutenberg (though they haven't made it to Gutenberg yet for some reason)--at BlackMask.com [blackmask.com]. Just search on Maurice Leblanc. They're very good.
        • Were the translations from before 1923? Even if the work is before the magic copyright date, the translation may still be protected.
    • More like Rupan III (Score:3, Informative)

      by yerricde (125198)

      In some countries, the maker of Lupin III can't publish under the title Lupin III because of trademark problems [shizukapress.com]. In those countries, he becomes "The Wolf" (literal translation of "Lupin") or "Rupan III" (transliteration of kana).

  • The artist leaving artistic control in the hands of a Hollywood producter? Boy, I can't wait! ...Am I the only one who smells disaster?
  • by koh (124962) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:34AM (#5432939) Journal
    It is often hard to derive Japanese art and not lose that something that made the movie enjoyable.

    I hope Hollywood does a better job with Lupin than with The Ring... I don't have much hope, touch, since Lupin is 1) animation and 2) based on humor.

    Maybe it will be better than scooby-doo...

    • by Thomas M Hughes (463951) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:52AM (#5433089)
      Lupin III is interesting because it really doesn't need to be a cartoon. Meaning, the effects taken aren't that outlandish (ala, Scooby Doo, or Dragonball Z). In fact, Lupin III could have been a very interesting live action piece from the very beginning as far as I can tell. The main reason to go animated over live action is that you can afford a lot more animated explosions and flying planes and exotic places internationally with drawings and ink then you could with a real set.

      I think the comparison with 007 is really valid in this case. Whenever I watch Lupin III, it feels really similar to watching 007, if he had a set of good friends he hung out with, and he was a master gentleman thief.

      Having said all that, I won't be seeing this movie, as interesting as it might be. A tight budget means entertainment tends to get cut first.
    • I really loved the Japense version...the american remake seemd like it was trying to hard too "gross out" the audiance.

      I'm not really looking foreward to a live action Lupin 3 movie, since I'm a huge fan of the manga....and live action just doesn't seem to fit.
  • However... (Score:5, Funny)

    by rde (17364) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:37AM (#5432963)
    <urbanlegend>However, it's being renamed Lupin to accommodate the foolish americans who haven't seen Lupins I or II</urbanlegend>
    • Actually, I believe that they will still call it "Lupin III". It's much easier to make a profit by producing a sequel.
    • Re:However... (Score:4, Informative)

      by GothChip (123005) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @11:34AM (#5433392) Homepage
      Not based on an urban legend but actually based on truth.

      The movie is based on a play by Alan Bennett called "The Madness of George III". The popular story in the UK is that the movie's title is different from that of the play because it was thought the American audience might mistake it for a sequel. While not wholly true, director Nicholas Hytner has confirmed that it was "not wholly untrue" and it is now widely held that this almost certainly did play a part in the titling of the film. In the UK it would be obvious to anyone that "George III" referred to King George III, but it was felt that elsewhere this might not be so clear and that adding "King" to the title might help. While this explains part of the title change, it glosses over the dropping of the "III", adding renewed weight to the original theory.

  • by CleverNickName (129189) <wil@wilw[ ]ton.net ['hea' in gap]> on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:38AM (#5432971) Homepage Journal
    I have it on good authority that this will be distributed by Dennis Moore.
  • Lupin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:40AM (#5432990) Journal
    I've been watching the cartoons on cartoon network. I get the sense that it was probably really funny in its original japanese, but it's all lost in the translation, and whats left is sort of a lukewarm and lame attempt at humor.

    Humor just doesnt translate like action does.

    The premise is solid enough to make a good movie. Just so long as some good writers write a good script in english, and dont try to translate some old scripts.
    • Re:Lupin (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      From what I can tell (haven't seen much on CN), most of the translations seem like a rush job, with parts that just "don't fit."

      One episode that aired a few weeks ago, Lupin made a reference to "Who Wants To Be A Millionare." However, the episode seemed quite dated, making me believe that it was something the English VA director decided to add in, as opposed to something that was in the original Japanese script.

      Besides, just because something is popular doesn't mean its good. Just look at Dragonball Z. =P
      • Re:Lupin (Score:2, Informative)

        by amuro98 (461673)
        Well, the cartoon originally aired in Japan in the late 60s/early 70s... This is why the animation seems so "dated."

        Even as newer Lupin comics, movies and TV shows were produced, the artist kept the same style.
    • I think they should hire the firm that does the translations for the Asterix [asterix.tm.fr] comics. (Warning, the site seems rather buggy) Anyone who can translate a comic strip, that depends on French puns, into English and remains "punny" enough to make tears run down my face . . . Well!

      I'm not saying you don't have a point. Myself, I'd just rephrase it as, "Humour is a lot harder to translate than action."

    • What you say?
  • Man, I just can't but help thinking "sellout" when I read that article. Kato says he'll leave artistic control to the film professionals. Ouch. I don't like the way hollywood does anime. =(
    • Man, I just can't but help thinking "sellout" when I read that article. Kato says he'll leave artistic control to the film professionals

      Yeah, know what you mean. Guy's probably got a wife, kids, mortgage, bills to pay... DAMN HIM! Damn him to HELL!!

      Seriously, if it helps, imagine him as the Linux-loving, MS-Bashing SysAdmin forced to run NT because of his job in the Fortune 500.

      ...or can only artists "sell out?"

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Lupin and his gang will save some Jews from the Nazis and steal some fertilized dinosaur embryos, but are finally captured when Zenigata uses some prescient bald freaks who live in a quantum hot tub to finally get their man.
  • Lupin Moive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by E-Rock-23 (470500) <lostprophyt@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:42AM (#5433006) Homepage Journal
    Thanks to Cartoon Network, I've been able to finally see the Lupin III TV series. Despite it's dated nature and the modernization of the dub script (tons of modern refferences), I find the show enjoyable, and watch it damn near religiously.

    But a live action Lupin movie? And from Hollywood, no less? Has anyone here seen G-Savior?

    I think that, because it's Lupin, I'll hold on to a little hope that the fruitcakes in Hollywood won't mangle it, but I'm afraid that my hope is misplaced. They might try a live action "Cogliostro," which wouldn't be bad, but would probably insult the greatness that is Haiyo Miazaki (just like I'll bet they'll snub him at the Oscars).

    Another sad option is that they'll try to turn this whole thing into another "Hudson Hawk." They could try to turn it into an action flick (almost making Jigen and Goemon the stars as opposed to Lupin), but then they'd offer the part to not-so-awesome "action stars" like Vin "I Look Good Standing Next To Hot Cars" Diesel or Duane "The Rock" Johnson.

    If Hollywood were smart, they'd drop the idea entirely. But they're not smart, they're money hungry, so they'll jump all over it and turn it into overproduced fluff. Still, I have hope that somehow, someway, by some wild twist of fate, Hollywood can overcome it's current stigma and actually make a good flick based on an excellent Anime...
  • Hollywood getting a crack at a Anime Movie. It is better than selling the rights to Disney. Honestly, if it is animated, they are probably going to either

    1) Port over one of the movies and dub it all to crap, probably casting either Hollywood's bigshots, or some no-name actors/actresses.

    2) Redo the entire thing in American Animation, screwing around with all of the character's backstory and personality until they have no relation to their Anime counterparts, AND probably casting either Hollywood's bigshots, or some no-name actors/actresses.

    I do wish Hollywood the best of luck with creating Lupin. I do plan on seeing it when it comes out and hope for the best. But, judging from how they are doing American Comics and Games in the Movie Genre, I do not think the Import "Lupin the III" would be as great as most anime fans want it to be.

    Oh, and before I forget, one of the Lupin Movies is own by Miyazaki (sp?). If he owns it, than Disney definally has it (Seeing as had they brought all of the rights to all of Miyazaki anime movies), which means that Disney might try something to get in on this Lupin Movie Action. Scary thought to see Hollywood and Disney duke it out over some Anime 007. Eh, what can you do?
  • CliffHanger (Score:4, Informative)

    by CommieLib (468883) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:44AM (#5433018) Homepage
    Lupin III was also used to make the classic 80's videodisc game, Cliff Hanger [klov.com].
  • That's news to me, I always heard him referred to by his penname.

    Jon Acheson
  • Official website (Score:4, Informative)

    by Apreche (239272) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:50AM (#5433074) Homepage Journal
    If you've never heard of lupin before head to www.lupinofficial.com to catch a glimpse. It's the official website pioneer set up to advertise the tv/dvd showings of the original lupin tv series on CN. You should be able to watch it Monday through Thursday nights at midnight + 1/2 on cartoon network. Before it starting rerunning episodes (because it takes awhile to dub new ones) me and my friends watched it religiously. We also watch every movie we can get our hands on. Lupin is absolutely hilarious. A great party anime.

    And I quote

    Ahhhh, the old exploding bear trap on the ass trick!
  • D'oh, talk about Pop eating itself. Because you known that after the movie comes out, some idiot will option the comic rights to the movie. And then we'll have the comic book of the movie of the anime of the Manga (comic book).

    Didn't "Road to Perdition" have a comic come out, based on the movie, which was based on the comic book?

    Check out http://www.anime.com, scoll down to the bottom, click on Feb2003, and the first pick will be Lupin for all those who want to get the DVDs.
  • by astrashe (7452) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @10:54AM (#5433110) Journal
    I know this is heresey, but I don't think that The Castle of Cagliostro stands up with Miyazaki's best work. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but his best stuff seems to be suffused with a kind of human warmth, a real fondness for and understanding of people, that doesn't come through in Cagliostro. It's not that Cagliostro is a bad movie -- it's not -- it just doesn't seem to have the force of some of the others.

    For me the definitive Miyazaki scene is in Tonari no Totoro, when they're at the bus stop, and Totoro shows up. That moment when they're standing there in the rain, and she loans him her umbrella. There's so much that's good in that moment -- wonder, kindness, etc. -- and it all fits together perfectly.

    • by Mononoke (88668)
      I know this is heresey, but I don't think that The Castle of Cagliostro stands up with Miyazaki's best work.
      I agree with you here. You can tell that this was a Miyazaki episode of Lupin, but that he may not have put as much of his heart into it as he would have one of his original stories.
      For me the definitive Miyazaki scene is in Tonari no Totoro, when they're at the bus stop, and Totoro shows up. That moment when they're standing there in the rain, and she loans him her umbrella. There's so much that's good in that moment -- wonder, kindness, etc. -- and it all fits together perfectly.
      For me the definitive Miyazaki scene is in Nausicaa when she is first given Teto. Teto bit into Nausicaa's finger out of fear and she remained calm, calming Teto in the process and proving to Teto that she could be trusted absolutely.

    • Keep in mind this was before Miyazaki had studio Ghibli and was such a big name. As director working on someone else's already well-known creation, he was probably limited in what story elements he could bring to it. Not the best of Miyazaki perhaps, but still it's probably the best of all the Lupin movies.

      • The irony is, Monkey Punch was reportedly rather upset with the changes to his characters wrought by Miyazaki in the TV series and particularly Cagliostro. Miyazaki's Lupin is substantially more heroic, warm, and caring than Monkey Punch would have liked.
  • I'd rather see a live-action Cowboy Bebop.
    • Too late. It came out in 1974 as live action. Hide the polyester, it was scary bad.... Bad enough where I couldn't actually watch one laserdisk worth... I think there was a plot, but I couldn't get that far...

      Rupan Sansei: Nenriki Chin Sakusen
      Lupin III: Strange Psycho-kinetic Strategy
      Theatrical release: 1974 (Toei)
      Japanese title: Nenriki Chin Sakusen
      Comments: This is the live-action version of Lupin III. The actor portraying Lupin wears a white suit and has an "L" tattoo on his chest. The rest of the Lupin cast is in it except for Goemon. Zenigata does not have his trademark hat and works with two assistants.
  • Let us not forget... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bzcpcfj (308756)
    John and Lionel Barrymore, in 1932, starred in Arsene Lupin (with John as Lupin and Lionel as the plodding detective).

    Obviously, this version was based directly on the original French work. Not a samurai in sight.
  • Castle of Cagliostro, directed by Miyazaki is a great movie.

    No, actually it's pretty damned mediocre, both for Miyazaki and Lupin. Of course, it's hard to keep it fresh with 20-something movies and over 100 TV episodes, all with the SAME plot and jokes.

    Still, for my money, In Memory of Walther P-38 is a far better example of Lupin done right.

    • Ah, so you're one for the "Everybody but the main cast must DIIIEEE!" style. ;)

      Personally, I had the most fun with "To Hell With Nostradamus!", despite the token cute kids.

      I still want to see "The $1 Money War", though.
  • by Thag (8436) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @11:01AM (#5433152) Homepage
    Lupin - I 've got no good ideas. Based on looks, maybe David Schwimmer? (note: he can do way more than Ross from Friends)
    Jigen - Edward Norton
    Goemon - Hopefully someone Japanese. Or at least Asian. Who was the guy they used for the first Onimusha game? Or maybe Robin Shou?
    Fujiko - With a name like Fujiko, you'd have to go with an Asian, though the character looks caucasian... I hate to say change the name...
    Zenigata - Fortysomething, Japanese? I really don't know many Japanese live action stars. Sonny Chiba?

    What do you think?

    Jon Acheson
    • Some people have suggested Jim Carrey for the role of Lupin III. I think he'd be a very good choice, if he didn't go too far over the top.
  • by Chocolate Teapot (639869) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @11:03AM (#5433159) Journal
    "That's not a lupin!"
    (whips a plant from back of belt)
    "This [ruthvilmi.net] is a lupin!"
  • Why is it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mossfoot (310128) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @11:06AM (#5433176) Homepage
    ...that everytime Hollywood uses a much loved idea from other source I get this cold shiver down my spine? ;) Seriously, wouldn't you be worried if Disney decided to do their own version of Spirited Away or Princess Moanoke instead of just getting distribution rights?

    Hmmm.. didn't they do that with The Lion King? I'm pretty sure I've seen a series of a similar theme out here that predates the movie... could be wrong though... I may live in Japan, but I still can't read Japanese ;)
  • by newsdee (629448) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @11:09AM (#5433206) Homepage Journal
    Outside Japan, they had to distribute the Lupin III anime with an alternate name, Cliff or Wolf (the latter being closer to the original as lupus means wolf in latin).

    Anyway story-wise the guy is supposed to be the grandson of Arsene Lupin, hence the number. However, the actual grandson of the original French writer has sued companies airing it for usurping the name, which was settled by changing the character's name.

    So, I wonder what kind of deal they have to release a "Lupin III" movie.

    Before anybody starts whining that copyrights are bad, just remember that they're going to turn Lupin III into a commercial trademark (it already is in Japan), so it's like Hollywood making millions by distributing "Linux: the movie" and trademarking the name... ;-)

  • by ianscot (591483) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @11:25AM (#5433327)
    Having something optioned isn't a guarantee it'll get made, ever. Options are... well, they're options. The studio or producer pays for the rights to make a movie, and then they check things out to see if it'll work. Lots of options expire and get re-sold elsewhere, with no movie ever made.

    The Patrick O'Brian series I love -- "Master and Commander," due this Nov, is the source of endless hope and fear among fans -- took forever, with O'Brian getting option money for years and years with no film in the works. O'Brian died before anyone went ahead on a movie.

    My former brother-in-law has had the option on a book of his sold, he collected somewhere shy of a million dollars on the rights, and the book's option has bounced around between producers for a long while now. Clint Eastwood supposedly liked it at first. No signs of a movie being made.

    There are no guarantees. (And as far as it going on "as long as the 007 series," take things a step at a time.)

  • So doomed... (Score:2, Insightful)

    At this point, part of the charm of Lupin is the familiarity of the cast and the hi-jinks. The TV movies they crank out every year are designed to give each of the cast members an opportunity to do the things they do best, or to do a little twist on viewers' expectations (the "it's a cop, no wait it's Lupin, no wait it's Zenigata, no that was Lupin" gag from Castle of Cagliostro gets reversed again in the opening to Harimao's Treasure). Is "The $1 Cash War" better than "To Hell with Nostradamus"? Doesn't matter. They're both aimed dead-center at the comfort zone.

    Of course, a one-shot movie wouldn't have that effect -- it'd be like trying to do a "Friends" movie (or, for that matter, like doing a big-budget Zatoichi [imdb.com] revival). And can we trust Hollywood to capture what makes these characters appealing in the first place? I'm betting not.

  • Sheesh. Here is yet another french character/story [google.com] rip-off. Can't anybody imagine better things than the (already good) stuff that exists??? Helllooo???

    Or are Hollywood producers so deep-stuck in the ruts of their brains that they won't risk unknown new things???

    And those assholes pretend to tell us what to do with OUR computers!!!

  • For those of you thinking this movie will only draw anime fans, I am pretty sure you are wrong. I am nota fan of most anime, but I have watched this show on cartoon network several times, and it seems like the kind of thing that would translate really well into a cinematic format.

    The story revolves around adventures of a thief (Lupin) and some travelling companions. The episodes I saw had a lot of people with guns, jokes about sex, and camels. It is a devestating combination.
  • I really enjoy Lupin III. I think the puns and humor are funnier in Japanese, but the dubbed versions they are playing on Cartoon Network are not really that bad.

    Whoever has done the translations has attempted to translate the same feel of the show into English; which is very hard to do since Japanese jokes, when translated, usually make absolutely no sense. Sometimes the English jokes are too corney; but at least they tried. I hope the movie remains true to the original (which it won't). Hollywood always has to bung things up for some reason.

    Lupin III was derived from the character Arsene Lupin by author Maurice Leblanc. Lupin, the cartoon, being the grandson of Lupin the book. Most of these books are now out of print, but can sometimes be found at used book stores and libraries. About five years ago, Amazon.com offered a collector's version of some of them, which I bought, but I just checked and, of course, they are no longer available.

    Anyway, these books were fun to read as well, though not as humorous as the Japanese animation, and Arsene Lupin doesn't have cool sidekicks like Goemon and Jigen. I just thought I'd mention it in case anyone was interested.

    One more interesting bit of trivia. There was a legendary theif in Japan, back in the Edo jidai I think, named Goemon. He got away with all sorts of crimes. I'm sure that is who Goemon of Lupin III was derived from. Unfortunately for the real Goemon, he was caught and the officials of the time boiled him to death in a large pot of water; sort of like they did in the beginning of the book Shogun by James Clavell. Ouch!

    Sorry about the rambling.
  • He was the first steriotypical anime 'american.' Nabeshin (excel-saga) and Spike (Cowboy Bebop) and others are just copies off of his casual afro weilding style.
  • niche info (Score:3, Informative)

    by lingqi (577227) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @06:52PM (#5437153) Journal
    posting late, but:

    If anybody watched the movie about treasure of Caliostro; in the end, you can see the interpol (Internatioal Police, supposedly) cars, but they have "åY¼çZè¦åY" or somesuch written on the side - which is actually "Saitama Police" - Saitama being a Japanese prefecture north of Tokyo.

    Now, this was supposedly in the small but influential *country* of Caliostro, which is supposedly in Europe or something, so I couldn't help but chuckle.

    ahem, now a piece of *useful* information has been squeezed out of your brain, I feel a bit better.
  • it was made in 1974!

    Lupin III "Nenriki Chin Sakusen" (in english - "Strange Psyco-kinetic Strategy")

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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