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GKIDS Films Nabs 'Lupin III: The First' North American Rights

We could all do with some good news right now- and it doesn't get much better than this. One of the most exciting animation trailers of last year was Lupin III: The First, the first CG animated movie starring the iconic Gentleman thief  Arsene Lupin III. We've been waiting for news of a potential English release ever since, and now GKIDS Film have announced that they have acquired the film's North American distribution rights.

Created by the late Monkey Punch, the character has been one of the most popular anime and manga characters in Japan for more than 50 years. After starring in manga, several anime TV series, numerous specials and several movies- most notably the Hayao Miyazaki directed Castle Of Cagliostro- he makes the leap to 3D CG for the first time. Written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki (Dragon Quest Your Story, Stand By Me Doraemon) the trailer seems to have captured the spirit of the original perfectly.

GKIDS has released the synopsis for the film, and it sounds like a typical globetrotting Lupin adventure.

The iconic "gentleman thief" Lupin III returns in an action-packed, continent-spanning adventure, as Lupin III and his colorful underworld companions race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary, before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich. The gang undertakes trap-filled tombs, aerial escapades and daring prison escapes with the trademark wit and visual finesse that have made LUPIN THE 3RD one of the most storied animation franchises in the world, in a thrilling new caper that is sure to delight fans old and new.

GKIDS plan to release theatrically this year- although understandably, no release date has been announced yet. It will screen in original language version and with a brand new English dub.

"As someone who has been a fan of Lupin III since The Castle of Cagliostro, I was blown away by the quality of animation and storytelling in [the movie]" said GKIDS President, David Jesteadt. "Director Takashi Yamazaki has taken such incredible care and detail in creating Lupin's first adventure in CG, and I am hopeful that audiences fall in love with the film as much as I have."

"Lupin III has been stealing hearts of audiences of all ages for over 50 years, and we're proud to be able to present the latest evolution of the world's greatest thief," TMS Entertainment VP Masami Tokunaga added. "We are truly excited to be collaborating with GKIDS to bring this amazing film to our fans in North America."

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