×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yakuza in the hood

Kitano's gangster pic a $10 mil co-prod'n

TOKYO — Japanese director Takeshi Kitano will explore the mean streets of Los Angeles in his next film, “Brother,” about a Japanese gangster.

Kitano will work with his largest-ever budget, $10 million. “Brother,” a co-production with Masayuki Mori of the director’s Office Kitano and Jeremy Thomas of Britain’s Recorded Picture Co., is scheduled for release in time for the 2001 New Year’s holiday in Japan.

Film will be Kitano’s ninth. Helmer took best picture at the Venice Intl. Film Festival with his 1998 movie “Hana-Bi” (Fireworks).

Epps tops

Shooting starts later this month in Tokyo and will move to Los Angeles in January. Omar Epps (“ER,” “The Wood”) will topline.

Kitano first met producer Thomas in 1983 during the filming of “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.” After a series of meetings at film festivals in London and Tokyo over the past few years, Thomas and Kitano’s production company struck their deal.

“This will be (Kitano’s) first film that will be challenging the international market,” Thomas said.

Splitting prod’n costs

Under the deal, Office Kitano will contribute half of the $10 million production cost in exchange for the distribution rights in Japan and sales rights for South and East Asia.

RPC will put up the other half of the money in exchange for global distribution rights outside of Asia. Producer Mori said he is hoping to land about $20 million at the Japanese box office.

Sib search

Pic concerns a lone wolf yakuza (Kitano) who was abandoned by his gang family after losing a mob war. He then goes to L.A. to search for his brother and hooks up with Epps as the story shifts to the strange communal life of Epps’ streetwise Angeleno, Kitano’s tough Japanese mobster and a Japanese exchange student (Claude Maki), who has wandered off the honor roll path.

Kitano said the co-production deal was born out of his long association with Thomas and added that he has “gone through a bit of culture shock” in his dealings with Hollywood.

More Film

  • CAA Owner TPG Buying Payroll Specialist

    CAA Owner TPG Buying Payroll Specialist Entertainment Partners

    TPG Capital, the massive private equity firm that owns Creative Artists Agency, is buying payroll specialist Entertainment Partners for an undisclosed price. Entertainment Partners’ management team, led by president and CEO Mark Goldstein, will continue in their roles. The agreement was announced Tuesday with plans to close the deal during the second quarter. “We’re thrilled [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Threatening to Throw 'Industry Into Chaos'

    UPDATE – The dealmakers appear to be getting nowhere. Negotiators for Hollywood agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved little progress at their seventh session on Tuesday, with a chaotic scenario looming on April 7. “When Guild leadership is ready to move on from their declared threatening phase, we stand ready to work [...]

  • Zoe Lister-Jones The Craft

    'The Craft' Remake Finds Director in Zoe-Lister Jones

    “Life in Pieces” star Zoe Lister-Jones will write and direct Sony Pictures’ remake of “The Craft” for Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment. Doug Wick, the producer of the original “The Craft,” will return in the same capacity along with partner Lucy Fisher through their Red Wagon banner. Jason Blum is also producing and his Blumhouse [...]

  • Carol Burnett

    Carol Burnett's Mother-Daughter Story 'Carrie and Me' in Development as a Movie

    Carol Burnett’s bestseller “Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story” is in the works as a movie at Focus Features with Burnett, Tina Fey, Eric Gurian, and Steven Rogers producing. Burnett will produce through her Mabel Cat Productions with Fey and Gurian under their production banner Little Stranger along with Rogers (“I, Tonya”). The sibling [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: 'There Will Be Difficult Moments'

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road. Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Entertainment One, Universal to Partner on Home Entertainment

    Entertainment One and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a multi-year, multi-territory distribution agreement. UPHE will serve as the home entertainment distributor of eOne’s offerings across both physical and digital formats. The pact covers film, television, and select family content and includes all sales, marketing, and distribution, spanning the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Spain, Australia, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content