Friend of Director: Live-Action Lupin III Film to Modernize Characters
posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Take Yoshida, a writer and a friend of director Ryuhei Kitamura, told the website zakzak that the director intends to change the setting of the live-action film adaptation of Monkey Punch's Lupin III manga and anime franchise. According to Yoshida, Kitamura said the following before filming began:
There's no meaning to a live-action film adaptation if you make the setting the same. I intend to change the characters themselves to make them modern. It would be nonsense for Goemon to exist in current society wearing samurai's garb and carrying around a katana.
According to Toho, the film is scheduled to open in Japanese theaters in summer 2014. The film will star Shun Oguri (Captain Harlock, Hana Yori Dango, Gokusen, Space Brothers) as Lupin, Meisa Kuroki (Space Battleship Yamato , Crows Zero II) as Fujiko Mine, Tetsuji Tamayama (Nana, Casshern) as Daisuke Jigen, Gou Ayano (Ushijima the Loan Shark, Rurouni Kenshin, Helter Skelter, Bunny Drop) as Goemon Ishikawa, and Tadanobu Asano (Thor, 47 Ronin) as Detective Kōichi Zenigata. The cast also includes Jerry Yan (Meteor Garden), South Korean actor Kim Joon (South Korean Hana Yori Dango), Thai actor Thanayong Wongtrakul (The Man from Nowhere), Australian actor Nick Tate (Return from the River Kwai), Thai actor Nirut Sirijanya (The Hangover Part II), and Thai singer Yaya Ying.
Ryūhei Kitamura (Godzilla: Final Wars, Azumi) is directing the film, and Mataichirō Yamamoto (Crows Zero, Azumi) is writing the script. Spanish cinematographer Pedro J. Márquez (Kidnapped) is serving as director of photography. The visual effects supervisor also worked on the Korean films Brotherhood and The Thieves. 14 interpreters translated between Japanese, English, Thai, Chinese, and Korean on location at Thailand.
Monkey Punch launched Lupin III in the inaugural issue of Weekly Manga Action magazine in 1967 and established the new genre of "seinen manga." The stories of the titular thief have already spawned several television anime series, anime films, an annual string of television specials, games, stage productions, and other projects.