Ryuhei Kitamura (北村 龍平 Kitamura Ryūhei) (born May 30, 1969) is a Japanese filmmaker.
Born in Osaka, Japan, Kitamura quit high school and went to the School of Visual Arts in Australia at age 17.
His first film was the short Exit, which he made as his graduation piece at age 19. After graduating, he returned to Japan to establish Napalm Films, his independent film production studio. While his films Down to Hell and Heat After Dark were successful in film festivals, Kitamura's rise to international fame came from Versus.
Kitamura went on to direct several movies, including adaptations of the manga Azumi and the popular Japanese TV drama Sky High. He had also collaborated with director Yukihiko Tsutsumi in the Duel Project, in which the two agreed to produce the best dueling movie with minimal production time and budget, with Aragami being Kitamura's part. He also ventured into the world of video games by directing the cut scenes and motion capturing of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. Kitamura also served as producer on 2003's Battlefield Baseball, the directorial debut of Yūdai Yamaguchi (Versus co-writer). Kitamura's 2004 kaiju film, Godzilla: Final Wars had its premiere in Hollywood.
Kitamura recently marked his American filmmaking debut with Midnight Meat Train based on Clive Barker's short horror story of the same name. The film was released on August 1, 2008 and stars Bradley Cooper, Vinnie Jones, and Brooke Shields. His next directorial effort, No One Lives, will play as part of the Midnight Madness portion of the Toronto International Film Festival, and is set to be released in 2012, his second American production. He is currently attached to direct the movie Gun Monkeys from a screenplay by Lee Goldberg, based on the novel by Victor Gischler.
Kitamura's favourite Godzilla film is Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). His favourite kaiju is King Caesar. He is set to direct the slasher film Black Friday 3D, which is based on a screenplay by Joe Knetter.
- Heat After Dark (1996) (writer)
- Down to Hell (1997) (writer)
- Versus (2000) (writer)
- Alive (2002) (screenplay)
- Aragami (2003) (writer)
- Longinus (2004) (writer)
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) (screenplay)
- LoveDeath (2006) (screenplay)
- Yoroi: Samurai Zombie (2008, directed by Tak Sakaguchi) (story, screenplay)
- Versus (2010) (writer)