Kite

Late last week, we got our first peek at Barely Lethal, starring Samuel L. Jackson as the mentor to a teen assassin played by Hailee Steinfeld. Today, we have our first peek at Kite, starring Samuel L. Jackson as mentor to a teen assassin played by India Eisley. The difference is that this time around, we’re looking at a gritty, anime-based actioner, rather than a Mean Girls-esque comedy.

Eisley leads as Sawa, a young girl left orphaned after her policeman father is killed. Under the guidance of her dad’s ex-partner Karl Aker (Jackson), she trains as a killer and sets out to avenge her parents. Callan McAuliffe (I Am Number Four) also stars. About nine minutes of footage have just been released, including the first trailer and a few clips, and you can check them out after the jump.

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David R. Ellis, the man who directed Snakes on a Plane, a film that helped change the relationship between movie studios and the internet in a big way, has died unexpectedly in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was 60 years old.

The LA-born filmmaker made his way up through the Hollywood ranks in classic fashion, starting out as an actor and stunt man, then working as a stunt coordinator (To Live and Die in LA, Scarface, Patriot Games) and second unit director, holding that last title on films such as Waterworld, the first Harry Potter film, and The Matrix Reloaded.

Ellis eventually moved into directing, and made the best film in the Final Destination series: Final Destination 2, with that thrilling and horrific highway collision opening. He also directed films such as Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, and last year’s Shark Night 3D. He briefly went back to his second unit director role for Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, Winter’s Tale, with Colin Farrell, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe. At the time of his death, Ellis was in South Africa prepping his live-action adaptation of the anime Kite, which would have reunited him with Snakes star Samuel L. Jackson. The cause of his death is unknown. [Deadline]

The latest film from Final Destination 2 and Snakes on a Plane director David R. Ellis is Shark Night 3D, which opens in theaters today. That makes this afternoon a good time to announce his next film, which will likely be a remake of the anime OVA Kite (aka A Kite), which was directed by Yasuomi Umetsu and released in 1998. Rob Cohen was doing to direct the live-action version at one point, but little has been heard about for some time. The story involves an orphaned girl who is coerced into sexual servitude and murder — in other words, don’t expect a direct translation in this live-action version. Read More »

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