You’d think that the debut film of a director as influential — and with as fervent a following — as Hayao Miyazaki would’ve already had a re-release in some U.S. cinemas after, say, Spirited Away rose to international fame. But alas, The Castle of Cagliostro, the director’s first feature-length film, had no such thing. It received an extremely limited release when it came out in the U.S. almost 12 years following its opening in Japan in 1979. (About six years prior to the creation of Studio Ghibli.) Now the film — based off Monkey Punch’s wildly popular Lupin III manga series — will be screening “nationwide” (though how many theaters that actually means remains to be seen) on September 14 and 19 of this year in honor of the 50th anniversary of the manga series, thanks to organizer Fathom Events,
Though this was Miyazaki’s first time directing a feature, it was not his first venture into the life of the famous fictional thief Arsène Lupin III; the director had previously worked on episodes of the animated shows (Lupin III and Lupin III Part II) based on the manga. Cagliostro was, itself, a follow-up — and one that was less successful at the box office, though it’d ultimately become famed as Miyazaki’s first movie — to another Lupin III film, The Mystery of Mamo.
Cagliostro kicks off with a massive casino heist carried out by Lupin III and his sidekick, Daisuke Jigen — but it turns out all of the money they’ve stolen is counterfeit, and so they go searching for the origin of their fake cash in the country of Cagliostro. There, they encounter the princess of Cagliostro, Clarisse, and plot to free her from an arranged marriage to the power obsessed Duke Cagliostro.
Tickets go on sale on August 18. After that dose, in the near-ish future, lurks another Miyazaki film you certainly haven’t seen: his upcoming-ish “final” film, which is unlikely to arrive any time before 2021.