5 Questions With ‘No One Lives’ Director Ryuhei Kitamura

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In select cities – NYC, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, Detroit, Houston & Baltimore – May 10th is Anchor Bay’s No One Lives, an insanely bloody slasher from Midnight Meat Train‘s Ryuhei Kitamura.

I recently chatted with Kitamura about the conceit of this film (ultimate psychopath vs. bush league psychopaths) and how he saw Luke Evans as the ultimate killer. I also got an update on Versus 2, turns out there’s already a script!

A ruthless criminal gang takes a young couple hostage and goes to ground in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. When the captive girl is killed, the tables are unexpectedly turned. The gang finds themselves outsmarted by an urbane and seasoned killer determined to ensure that no one lives.” The film stars Luke Evans, Lee Tergesen, Adelaide Clemens, Laura Ramsey, Lindsey Shaw, America Olivo, Beau Knapp, Derek Magyar, and Brodus Clay.

Head inside for the interview!

In a movie full of inventive, messy kills, what was the most difficult one to pull off?
 
I can’t spoil the movie, but there is a scene when Driver (Luke Evans) appears from a very “special” place. That shot was challenging because I wanted to do it in one take.

What was the element of David Cohen’s screenplay that attracted you the most?
 
The script was pure fun. It started out as typical slasher movie about a couple who are captured by group of evil people, who are tortured and try to escape… I’m not typically interested in making that type of movie, but then this script turned into something totally different. It was unpredictable and unstoppable. And not just about blood, guts and violence. I loved psychological element of Driver’s character and the twisted love relationship between Driver and Emma.

The villains are part of a large ensemble, was it difficult to find so many people with the right chemistry?
 
Casting is always the key but never an easy part. I tried to make them as human as possible, not just a body count number. We were under a lot of stress and pressure and under attack by all kinds of trouble everyday, but I had fun working with this great cast.
 
What did you see in Luke Evans that assured you he could play the ultimate psychopath?
 
It was love at first sight. I saw his picture and liked him immediately. This movie is all about this fascinating character, Driver. I didn’t want just a cool looking guy, I wanted somebody nice looking but also with intelligence, toughness, and sexy charisma. Luke has it all.

You recently announced Versus 2 as being your next project. Is there anything new you can tell us? Do you have a script?
 
Versus 2 will not be my next project but I will do it in the next few years. Everybody has been asking me to do it over the last 13 years but I didn’t want to do it just for money. There’s no point to repeating myself by doing the same thing again. If I do Versus 2 it MUST be something special and new.
 
When I was in pre-production on No One Lives the idea came to me, finally, and I wrote the script. So yes, I do have the script. It’s all new and much bigger and Tak Sakaguchi will be there.