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Distant Horizon and Rob Cohen partner on live action remake Of anime hit “Kite”

Distant Horizon, the international film financing, production and distribution company headed by Anant Singh, and director Rob Cohen, the helmer behind international mega-hits “XXX” and “The Fast and the Furious,” announced today their plans to remake a live action version of the Japanese anime cult classic “Kite.” Cohen and Singh will produce along with Distant Horizon’s Brian Cox. Cohen will also direct.

Original anime feature, a cult classic, by Yasuomi Umetsu, renowned for its stylistically graphic depictions of violent action and sensuality, concerns a young woman named Sawa who, after the murder of her parents, is taken off the streets by a crooked, Svengali-like detective employing homeless children to do his dirty work. Trained to kill, she exacts street justice against the detective’s chosen targets, until she is able to break free of the abusive and manipulative control he has over her.

Cohen and Distant Horizon are currently meeting with writers in order to adapt Umetsu’s story to the live action arena.

“This is a uniquely powerful property, and Rob has been a long-time fan, and we found that out a few days after we acquired the remake rights, so we went directly to him,” said Singh. “We felt his approach to action, and his ability to give a kind of hip re-working to various genres, made him the perfect choice. Rob has been inventive, giving new spins to the international spy thriller and the street racing film, and made them enormous worldwide box office hits. We need this kind of approach to “Kite,” an Asian bullet-ballet action movie.”
In the new live action version directed by Rob Cohen, the highly stylized anime look, and the beautiful but deadly action sequences will remain, as will the tense and gut-wrenching approach to character conflict, but the live action “Kite” will forego the graphic adult situations in the Umetsu version.

However, with her tense sexuality and her ticking time-bomb of a personality, Cohen and Distant Horizon feel that the new, flesh-and-blood Sawa has the potential to be the biggest action heroine since La Femme Nikita.

“Umetsu’s film has amazing visual intensity,” said Cohen. “It would be a fine challenge to define a place where anime and movies meet.”
Rights to the live action remake were licensed by Distant Horizon from Studio Kikan in Tokyo.

ROB COHEN

Combining nearly three decades of motion picture experience, first as an executive, then as a highly prolific producer, and finally as one of American film’s most versatile and successful directors, Rob Cohen maintains a unique place in the entertainment industry. Cohen’s most recent hit, the Columbia Pictures/Revolution Studios’ action-thriller “XXX,” starring Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, and Asia Argento, grossed more than $275 million worldwide and broke records on its DVD and video sales and rentals. His other blockbuster, “The Fast and the Furious,” was released by Universal Pictures in the summer of 2001, and grossed in excess of $145 million at the domestic box office. The film was also an enormous seller in its DVD and video releases.

Cohen is also director of the 2000 Universal release “The Skulls, and the HBO film “The Rat Pack,” which garnered 11 Emmy Award nominations (winning three), won Don Cheadle a Golden Globe Award, and earned Cohen a nomination from the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Direction of a Television Film. His “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” which he both wrote and directed, was heralded by critics and audiences alike, and made stars of both Jason Scott Lee and Lauren Holly. “Dragonheart,” Cohen’s epic-scale, mythological, visual effects movie, won the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film of 1996 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, with a degree in anthropology, Cohen began his film industry career as a reader for International Famous Agency, but quickly moved into production. As Director of Television Movies at Fox, Cohen developed projects “Mrs. Sundance” and “Stowaway to the Moon,” and as Executive VP of Motion Pictures at Motown, he produced some of the seminal black films of the 70s, including “Mahogany,” “The Wiz,” and “Thank God It’s Friday.” Other producing credits under his own banner have included “Ironweed,” “The Witches of Eastwick,” and “The Running Man.”

DISTANT HORIZON

Distant Horizon is the international production and distribution company founded by Anant Singh and has a significant presence in London, Los Angeles, the Far East and South Africa where Singh is based.

Distant Horizon scored a coup with its acquisition of the coveted film rights to Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk To Freedom” which will star Morgan Freeman and go into production later this year.

The company has also been on the cutting edge of Asian entertainment since the early 90s. Its film “Black Mask” was the first Jet Li feature to be released theatrically in the U.S., and the company was also responsible for bringing several Jackie Chan titles to the States, including “Police Story 1 & 2” and “Twin Dragons.” Its latest Hong Kong feature, “Zu Warriors,” starring Zhang Zi Yi, will be distributed by Miramax later this year. Other recent Asian acquisitions include Ryuhei Kitamura’s “Versus” from Japan and Kim Tae-Gyun’s “Volcano High” from Korea.

Most recently, the company announced a number of acquisitions for remake. Singh and Cox are attached as producers for the Dimension Films production of “Pulse,” a remake of the Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japanese horror film that Wes Craven will direct. Distant Horizon is also currently developing a remake of “Don’t Look Up,” an early title from director Hideo Nakata’s (“Ring”) horror oeuvre. Two Asian comedies, “La Brassiere” and “Break Out,” are also in development for remake.

Distant Horizon broke all box office records in South Africa last year with the release of its African comedy, “Mr. Bones.” The U.K. romance, “I Capture the Castle,” a co-production with David Parfitt (“Shakespeare in Love”), opens theatrically in the States on May 7th through Samuel Goldwyn Company, and in the U.K. through Momentum on May 9th.

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Tyler Steele, Distant Horizon, 323 848 4140, distanth@pacbell.net

 


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