Apparently New York animation distribution house GKIDS has noticed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, culture junkies have become even more patient and reasonable than usual about waiting for new releases to fill their frustrating quarantine days. So the company is once again reminding everyone, via a couple of sparkly new teaser trailers, that it has its hot little hands on the CGI Lupin III movie Lupin III: The First, and you can’t have it yet. Also, you can’t have a release date. It’s still “coming soon.”
That “soon” may depend on how the American moviegoing public continues to react to movie theaters re-opening. With attendance down due to the dire warnings about the safety of going to movies right now, some studios are experimenting with putting their high-value movies in theaters, while others are playing it safer by sending them straight to streaming, under a premium price tag. Every distributor is playing a guessing game right now, leading to endless delays for some scheduled films, while others, like Lupin III: The First, have just spent a long time in “coming soon” oblivion.
It’s clear from previous Lupin III trailers that the film was made for the big screen: it’s full of big, energetic action and vivid color. Like the decades of previous movies and shows centering on arrogant gentleman heist artist Lupin III, the new movie aims at being thrilling and funny, as Lupin, his sidekick Jigen, their samurai ally Goemon, their rival Fujiko, and their archenemy Zenigata all chase a World War II artifact that supposedly leads to a fabulous treasure. There’s a mild culture-shock element to seeing these familiar characters rendered at this level of detail — they’ve been around in one form or another since 1967, but never like this. But the characterizations and humor are as familiar and engaging as ever. Here’s hoping “soon” for GKIDS really does mean “soon.”
And for dub fans, YouTube also has the dubbed versions of the same teasers.