By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 2, 2011 at 8:39AM
Well, by all accounts, including ours, "Shark Night 3D" is awful but honestly, what did you expect from the guy who kickstarted his career directing "Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco" and went on to make such classics as "Cellular," "Final Destination 2" and "Snakes On A Plane." If "Shark Night 3D" proved anything, the director can deliver a thriller or horror movie with a PG-13 rating on a budget. So we presume those are the reasons he landed this gig which will find him de-fanging a controversial anime film.
Yasuomi Umetsu's 1988 film "Kite" raised eyebrows when it was first released. The first versions of the movie to land on U.S. and European soil had fifteen minutes of explicit sex and violence cut out from a story that had a pretty warped premise. The story centered on a schoolgirl named Sawa, who is orphaned as a teenager when her parents are the victims of a brutal double murder. Two detectives, Akai and Kanie, take on the case and take Sawa under their care. Then one of them makes her his sex slave. Then she turns into an assassin. And it gets even crazier from there. Featuring graphic violence and difficult rape scenes, the film was certainly controversial, so who better to sanitize it than Ellis?
According to Variety, Ellis' version will seemingly dump the sex slave angle (not surprising) and instead center "on a young woman living in a failed state, post-financial collapse, where the corrupt security force profits on the trafficking of young women. When her father, a cop, is slain by someone dirty inside the force, she vows to track the murderer down with the help of her father's ex-partner -- never realizing he is, in fact, the man who had her father killed." It's actually still a pretty good premise -- if more like a procedural now than anything -- but we're sure Ellis will turn into something barely coherent or watchable by the time he's had his way with it.
A live action adaptation has actually been in the works for a while now with Rob Cohen ("The Fast and the Furious," "xXx") rumored to direct. But this seems to be moving forward with casting underway and a production start in January on the schedule. "I am a big fan of Yasuomi Umetsu and honored to bring the amazing world of 'Kite' to the big screen," Ellis claims. But we think he'd honor the film and director best, by not remaking this at all.