With Shark Night 3D now in theaters, David R. Ellis — who also helmed Final Destination 2 and Snakes on a Plane — will be moving on to his next project, a live-action remake of the Japanese anime film Kite. Variety is reporting on the project, which is currently set up at Distant Horizon; Anant Singh and Brian Cox are producing, and the latter is not the actor, in case you were wondering.
Described as “a character-driven actioner,” it follows “young woman living in a failed state, post-financial collapse, where the corrupt security force profits on the trafficking of young women.” Her father, a police officer, is killed, and she decides to find his murderer with his ex-partner, who is actually the killer. The girl in the original, 1998 film was named Sawa, which is at least one detail I expect them to change.
Another thing that may not be so familiar is the tone, since the original is described as being very graphic in its depiction of violence and sexuality. The rating being shot for here isn’t clear, but a remake of an anime property for American audiences screams “PG-13” to me. It’s moving along at a decent speed, with casting currently happening and a shoot for January in the cards.
Ellis stated that he’s “a big fan of [the original’s writer and director] Yasuomi Umetsu,” and is “honored to bring the amazing world of Kite to the big screen”; it seems like he could stay somewhat faithful, seeing as there’s a connection between him and the material. Rob Cohen was originally going to helm this, but he (thankfully) dropped out. Say what you will about some of Ellis‘ films, but Final Destination 2 shows that he can handle setpieces with stylistic flair, something that I hope will translate to here.
Reading about this original movie makes it sound pretty shocking, and while I would say that some of it being softened is a shame, I often find anime to be a little too risque for my taste. Honestly, dialing down a few of the uglier aspects a couple of notches could be a good thing; it would make me more willing to see it, at least.
Have you seen the original Kite? Do you think that it should be remade? Is David R. Ellis a good choice to lead a new version?
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