Kite's Umetsu Offers Tribute to Late David R. Ellis

posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Yasuomi Umetsu: Reason behind death of live-action film director was illness

Anime director and character designer Yasuomi Umetsu posted a tribute blog entry on Wednesday to the late David R. Ellis, who passed away on Monday. He wrote the following:

Just before filming began on the live-action Hollywood adaptation of Kite, director David Ellis passed away in a hotel in Johanesburg. He was 60. The reason behind his death hasn't been officially announced, but he died of illness. I was also extremely shocked when I heard the news of his death... And it is such a shame I cannot even express.

This is because I was very much looking forward to seeing David's talent. It was David who had ultimately ordered that the live-action script be brought closer to the anime version. At first, the live-action script changed the entire world and story so much that it became a completely different work. The one who brought it back to the original was David. Right when he came to begin filming, this happened... It's such a shame and so distressing that I can't stand it.

David, thank you for everything up until now. May you rest in peace...

Once we find someone to direct the live-action movie and get back to where we were, we can begin filming. The planning still continues, so for the sake of David as well, we are completing a great piece of work.

Ellis was in South Africa at the beginning of this year to prepare for this adaptation of Umetsu's Kite anime with his Snakes on the Plane lead actor Samuel L. Jackson. According to Umetsu, the lead actress was already cast by December.

Ellis was born in Los Angeles on September 1, 1952. In 1986, he began directing second unit and action footage on films and eventually worked on such projects as The Matrix Reloaded and Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone. Ellis directed Homeward Bound 2: Lost In San Francisco, Shark Night 3D, Cellular, the sequels Final Destination 2 and The Final Destination, and Asylum.

Thanks to Daniel for the news tip

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