Real-life drama on Jackson set
Film crew working on Hollywood veteran Samuel L Jackson's upcoming film Kite kicked up a fuss yesterday trying to prevent pictures of him being shot in downtown Johannesburg.
Though the Django Unchained star was not in character, a woman working on the production threatened to have bodyguards expel The Times team if pictures of Jackson were taken.
But, with his customary "cool guy" demeanour, Jackson, 64, seemed unfazed and walked past the impending scuffle and back into a block of flats in Fox Street where filming has been taking place for the past two days.
The production was rocked by the death of its original director, David Ellis, in January, only a few weeks before preproduction was to begin.
Local director Ralph Ziman (Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema) now heads the film, a live-action adaptation of Yasuomi Umetsu's hit Japanese anime classic.
Young US actress India Eisley, who stars as Ashley Juergens in the TV series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, is a cast principal. Australian teen actor Callan McAuliffe, who recently shot The Great Gatsby, is also in the cast.
Kite tells the story of Sawa (Eisley), who lives in a failed state after a financial collapse during which the corrupt security force profits from trafficking young women.
When her father, a policeman, is killed, Sawa vows to track the murderer down, helped by her father's former partner, Karl Aker (Jackson).
Sphiwe Mkhize, a tenant in the Fox Street block, said he was offered R25000 for the use of his room for two days while the film is being shot.
He said more money was offered to a man living in a neighbouring room.