Anchor Bay has taken U.S. and Canadian rights to Kite, the live-action adaptation of Yasuomi Umetsu’s cult Japanese anime about a schoolgirl assassin hunting down the human traffickers she believes are responsible for her parents’ death. India Eisley (Underworld: Awakening) stars as the young and lethal Sawa opposite Samuel L. Jackson as Inspector Karl Aker, a renegade cop and the ex-partner of Sawa’s father, who firmly believes to succeed he has to take the law into his own hands. Callan McAuliffe (Underworld, I am Number Four) co-stars as Oburi. South African director Ralph Ziman took over the helm from the late David R. Ellis last year and scripted the picture himself.
Related: Cannes: Weinstein Co. Flies With ‘Kite’
The original anime was known for its extreme violence, nudity, and sexuality, including controversial scenes of rape that got Umetsu’s Kite banned in some countries. The live-action Kite is produced by Anant Singh and Distant Horizon’s Brian Cox. Moises Cosio and Alberto Muffelmann of Detalle are exec producers. Anchor Bay’s deal covers theatrical, home entertainment, digital and VOD rights while Weinstein Co. took international last year out of Cannes. Singh negotiated the deal with Alan Grodin of Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin for Distant Horizon.
Here’s a Kite trailer with an intro by Jackson that hit the web in January: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As Kite racks up international sales at AFM, Samuel L. Jackson’s co-star has taken on a new keyboard centric role with a new on-screen partner. From playing Oburi in the live action adaptation of the Japanese anime by Yasuomi Umetsu, Callan McAuliffe will now be the lead in the Akan Satayev–directed Hacker. McAuliffe will play the role of Alex Danyliuk, an ambitious teen techhead member of the secret Internet criminal network known as DarkWeb. Lorraine Nicholson has also joined the Canadian indie drama as fellow DarkWebber Kira Whittal. Seen in 2011’s Soul Surfer, Nicholson, the daughter of a certain Jack, will also be in the upcoming thriller Room 105. Sydney-born McAuliffe, who played the teenage version of the title charater in the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby, will be seen next year opposite Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson in the sci-fi coming of age tale Our Robot Overloards. Satayev, who helmed Kazakhstan’s Foreign Language Film Oscar entries Strayed and Myn Bala, wrote the story for Hacker with Timur Zhaxylykov. Sanzhar Sultanov penned the script. Sultanov’s Knows Rules Media will produce. Read More »
After making its AFM debut yesterday, Distant Horizon and The Weinstein Co.’s Samuel L. Jackson-fronted Kite has inked a batch of international sales. Adapted from the Japanese anime by Yasuomi Umetsu, the live-action revenge pic tracks Sawa, a young girl out for justice against the human traffickers she believes killed her parents. So far Kite’s inked deals with Rentrak for Japan, Tiberius in Germany, Ascot Elite in Switzerland, Noori in South Korea and Vietnam, SWEN for Latin America, Forum Film for Eastern Europe and Israel, Odeon in Greece, PT Amero in Indonesia, Soundspace in Malaysia, The Tanweer Group in Turkey, All Media for Russia and the CIS, the Dagur Group in Iceland, Lusomundo in Portugal, Golden Village in Singapore, Major Cinepictures in Thailand, Captive in the Philippines, Italia Film International for the Middle East, and Star TV for Pan-Asian television. India Eisley and Callan McAuliffe also star in the pic for helmer Ralph Ziman.
Swedish filmmaker Wiktor Ericsson makes his feature debut with The Sarnos – A Life In Dirty Movies, which has been picked up by Film Movement. The docu film, set to premiere this month at DOCNYC, profiles the soft-core filmmaker Joe Sarno and his wife Peggy as the man once known as the Ingmar Bergman of 42nd Street tries to get a new erotic pic off the ground at age 88. (Sarno died in 2010.) A theatrical debut is being eyed for Spring of 2014, followed by a Q3 VOD and home vid release. Film Movement’s Adley Gartenstein and Rebeca Conget negotiated the deal with The Yellow Affair’s Miira Paasilinna. Read More »
The Weinstein Co. has acquired worldwide rights to the live-action remake of Yasuomi Umetsu’s Japanese anime film Kite. Samuel L. Jackson stars with India Eisley (The Secret Life Of The American Teenager) and Callan McAuliffe (The Great Gatsby). South African director Ralph Ziman (Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema) stepped in for the late David R. Ellis back in February and filming had just wrapped. TWC is handling outside the U.S., South Africa and India. Read More »
South African director Ralph Ziman has taken over helming Kite, a live action remake of Yasuomi Umetsu’s 1998 Japanese anime film that originally had the late David R. Ellis directing. Samuel L. Jackson is starring with India Eisley (The Secret Life Of The American Teenager) and Callan McAuliffe (Underground: The Julian Assange Story, The Great Gatsby) also now aboard. Ellis, whose credits included Snakes On A Plane and Shark Night 3D, died in January. Pre-production is underway in Johannesburg with principal photography to begin this month.
The original Kite was controversial for its graphic depictions of sex and violence involving an orphaned girl who’s taken under the wing of a pair of corrupt detectives investigating her parents’ murder. The new version is described as a character-driven action film that charts the story of Sawa (Eisley), a young woman living in a failed state after the financial collapse, where a corrupt security force profits on the trafficking of young women. When Sawa’s policeman father is killed, she vows to track the murderer down with the help of his ex-partner, Karl Aker (Jackson).
Jackson said, “The zest and enthusiasm David Ellis had for this project led to my commitment to do it. That same commitment to David leads me to fulfil my obligation to see his dedication fulfilled.” Ziman is best known for 2008′s crime actioner Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema.
Anant Singh and Distant Horizon’s Brian Cox will produce alongside co-producers Moises Cosio and Alberto Muffelmann of Detalle Films. Read More »