Organizers have treated Film Independent’s staged reading of Quentin Tarantino’s latest script The Hateful Eight like a national security matter, restricting things like cell phones and computers and staying mum on casting ahead of Saturday night’s event. But I have …
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.
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:
Power Rangers billionaire and staunch Israel supporter Haim Saban tonight offered strong support to President Obama for his efforts to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his recent initiative in negotiations with Iran. “We’re out of Iraq, we’re out of Afghanistan and the military and intelligence cooperation with Israel — our staunchest ally in the Middle East, arguably in the world, has never been deeper and the president’s commitment to Israel’s security has never been stronger,” Saban said in his introduction to Obama’s remarks tonight at his Beverly Hills home, according to White House pool reports. “And “If Iran is at the negotiating table today, make no mistake about it, it is only because of President Obama’s resolve in striking them with the most crippling sanctions ever.” The event was the second fundraiser of the night for Obama and the first Saban has hosted for the President directly. (He’d hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton last month.) About 120 people attended tonight’s dinner — including Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson, Warner Bros’ Barry Meyer and wife Wendy, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos — with tickets going for $16,200 each. (Read an edited and condensed version of the White House Pool report and official WH Press Office remarks from both of tonight’s fundraisers below.)
Earlier in the evening, Obama was the headliner at a fundraiser at Magic Johnson’s Beverly Hills house. About 160 people including Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Keaton paid $2,500-$15,000 a ticket hear the commander-in-chief speak at the reception. Tomorrow morning the president will be attending a $32,400-per-guest breakfast event at the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman (take a look at the original invite here). After that, he will visit and give a speech on the economy and the entertainment industry at big donor Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s DreamWorks Animation HQ, as well as meeting with studio bosses. Obama’s Southland visit, his first since August, is partially a makeup for a planned swing in September that was scrapped because of the Syria crisis.
Here are the pool reports:
AFM Briefs: Samuel L. Jackson Anime Adaptation ‘Kite’ Sells Int’l; Soft-Core Bio ‘The Sarnos’ Goes To Film Movement; Image Springs For ‘Wolf Creek 2′; Brit Gangster Pic ‘Krays’ Sells Down Under; Origin Nabs ‘Truth About You’
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.
Will Clarke’s Altitude Film Entertainment is teaming with Subzero Film Entertainment to produce action adventure pic Big Game which has Samuel L. Jackson attached to play the president of the United States. Jalmari Helander, the Finnish director …
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.
Christopher Walken’s ‘The Power Of Few’ Lands With Steelyard; Fleming Rants On How Impatient Icons Diminish Legacies Dropping Too Many Movie Turds
It intrigues me that Christopher Walken’s latest film — which just signed for North American release by Steelyard Pictures — is titled The Power Of Few. I’ve never heard of this distributor, and maybe the film is a cinematic treat, but I’m reasonably certain this movie will come and go with little fanfare. The title is memorable because it summarizes perfectly how I wish iconic actors like Walken would run their careers. I was thinking about this over the weekend, when I again watched Django Unchained and observed how the whole movie changed from the moment that Samuel L. Jackson first came into view as the awful plantation slave patriarch Stephen. I find it one of the most memorable performances I’ve seen in the last five years, a villain to rival any Spaghetti Western antagonist ever, and am amazed how Jackson disappeared into a fully fleshed character as completely as Daniel Day-Lewis did with Lincoln and Joaquin Phoenix did in The Master, and Denzel Washington did in Flight. All three of those guys got nominated for Oscars, and Sam did not, even though it’s his best performance since Pulp Fiction. It’s easy to say it came down to Christoph Waltz’s Best Supporting Actor nomination (Leo DiCaprio was also snubbed), but I think a factor is that Jackson works so often that Oscar voters discount his great performances because it’s just one of the seven films he did in that calender year. Contrast that to Day-Lewis. When he works, you know it’s a special event, there is high anticipation and he either wins or gets nominated almost each and every time out.
To me, Walken is in the same class as Jackson, and so is Robert De Niro and Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins, and so would Sean Connery and Gene Hackman if anybody could coax those guys out of retirement. Kevin Costner is knocking on the door as well.
De Niro got an Oscar nom for Silver Linings Playbook, and it seemed to work in reverse; it seemed to help that this was the first movie in a long time where the material wasn’t beneath his vast talent, and that he proved he still had it.
As for Walken, I was at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of the Martin McDonagh-directed Seven Psychopaths last fall, and observed something rare. Gifted with dialogue from In Bruges‘ McDonagh, Walken had people cheering to just about every line he delivered, in his singular style. I wish guys like him would save themselves for just the really good stuff (like De Niro and Pacino in Heat and De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook), instead of leaving a trail of cinematic turds along the way.
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.
With a filmography that includes roles in some of the highest-grossing movies of all time including The Avengers, Iron Man and the Star Wars series Samuel L. Jackson clearly knows how to pick ‘em. And that is entirely intentional. …
Playing himself during a skit parody of BET on a show titled “What Up With That?” the characteristically voluble Jackson appeared to utter the f-word and did say “bullshit”. Jackson later tweeted “I only said FUH not FUCK! K was sposed to cut off da BULLSHIT, blew it!!” Here is an unbleeped YouTube clip:
You can watch NBC’s full clip of the skit which has both utterances muted after the jump: