Producer duo prep to take anime to new heights

Mexican blurb directors Jorge and Javier Aguilera — also known as Big Brother — will direct the live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime “Kite” for producers Rob Cohen and Anant Singh.

Singh and Brian Cox will produce for Singh’s Distant Horizon shingle. Cohen and Marc Pitre will produce for Cohen’s Nowita Pictures shingle.

Joshua Rubin will write the screenplay.

In “Kite,” a young woman whose parents have been murdered is taken in by a corrupt detective who uses homeless kids to do his dirty work. She exacts street justice against the detective’s chosen targets, then turns her talents against him.

The original anime feature, created by Yasuomi Umetsu, is known for its stylistically graphic depictions of violence and sensuality. New version will take place in the not-too-distant future when a police state has arisen in response to perceived threats of terrorism.

Cohen became attached to the project when he was in Japan promoting “XXX,” which he directed for Sony. When a Japanese reporter asked him about his influences, he said manga or anime. When they asked which titles, Cohen mentioned “Kite.”

“Within a week, Anant Singh got in touch with me, and we decided to join forces on it,” Cohen told Daily Variety.

More recently, Cohen met with Umetsu when he was back in Japan promoting “Stealth.” “That sort of cemented it,” he said. “We had a very complete conversation as to what his hopes and fears for the film were, and he couldn’t have been nicer. It was the anti-‘Lost in Translation’ hotel scene. We were communicating quite clearly.”

As for how the American live-action version of “Kite” will look, Cohen said, “In animated features you can deal in archetypes and icons more easily than in real flesh-and-blood films, so we’re trying to get some heart into the style.”

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