Shane Black to Direct Adaptation of Japanese Manga DEATH NOTE

     January 13, 2011


Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) has signed on to helm an adaptation of the Japanese manga Death Note for Warner Bros.  Deadline reports that Black, who was once one of Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriters (and rightly so), will oversee a script written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry.  Bagarozzi and Mondry are also writing the script for Black’s adaptation of Doc Savage for Sony.  Black says he’s uncertain about which project he’ll do next.

Hit the jump for what he had to say about Death Note along with a brief synopsis of the project.

death-note-manga-cover-01Here’s a brief synopsis of Death Note [via Wikipedia]:

Death Note is a manga series created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and manga artist Takeshi Obata. The main character is Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook, the “Death Note”, dropped on Earth by a death god named Ryuk. It centers around Light’s attempt to create and rule a world cleansed of evil using the notebook and the efforts of a detective known as L, and subsequently his successors, Near and Mello, to stop him. The Death Note grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name they know, by writing the name in the notebook while picturing their face.

And here’s what Black told Deadline about the project:

“It’s my favorite manga, I was just struck by its unique and brilliant sensibility.  What we want to do is take it back to that manga, and make it closer to what is so complex and truthful about the spirituality of the story, versus taking the concept and trying to copy it as an American thriller.”

Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Doug Davison, and Brian Witten are producing the flick.  Death Note has previously been adapted into an anime, Japanese live-action films, and video games.

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  • Tina

    Wasn’t this unnecessary remake supposed to be made a couple years ago? Starring teen scene extraordinaire Zac Efron? Yeah I’ll believe this when I see it.

  • theCount

    i actually like the show but i dont think its going to turn into a movie well at all

  • McGee

    Snap, I wrote a treatment for Death Note about 3 years ago… should’ve made some more noise about it and maybe it would’ve been me getting blogged about. Whoops!

    It’s definitely an interesting property that IMO will make for a pretty good movie, and you can’t really go wrong with the Shane Black at the helm.

  • DocDowns

    He damn well better do Doc Savage next. We’ve been hearing about it for so long I’m starting to think he forgot about it.

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  • Nelson

    I hope the keep the original names and the essentials events like how Light get the Death Note or how he makes that the FBI agent give him his name

    Let’s pray to the shinigamis they do the movie right

  • Jerry

    Nothing against Shane Black, he really is a great screenwriter. But Why Remake Death Note? Why not just give the Japanese Live Action verisons a bigger release here? Just call up VIZ (who released it here on DVD) and get the US rights? Why does almost every single Japanese movie/Anime have to be remade for US audiences?

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  • Lin Liren

    Keep Light ASIAN, or you’ll have another “White Airbender” box-office disaster.

    The Asian market is Hollywood’s LARGEST source of revenue in the world, and yet they treat us like we don’t fucking exist.

    And as shown by the POOR performance of the slap in the faces known as The White Airbender, Dragonball DEvolution and The Expendables, we are SICK TO DEATH of our (anti-)heroes being whitewashed for the southern inbreds.

    Just you try and make Light into a white boy; watch as your company crashes like a sack of shit just like MGM did wasting its last meager scraps of cash on the Asian-hating “Red Dawn” remake.

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  • Charlie

    I hope this rumour is actually true. I think if done properly, it would be an AMAZING film. Let’s hope Black doesn’t screw up!

  • Axxi

    I saw the Japanese one and was so disappointed at the lack of Near and Mello and completely straying from the plot. I’m really excited about this, I just hope they keep it closer to the original.

  • Sorshia

    They have to make Light Asian if they dont they won’t be going with the manga…In the Manga L is the foriegner so they can make him whatever ethincity they want. Though they have to make him cool I loved L. I loved the anime and Action movie and I watched it with eng subs I didnt wait for it to be dubbed. The story is awsome! The battle between great minds. They would have to make this a two part movie, or if they wanted to really go with the drama it would have to be a trilogy if they want Mello and Near in it. But the ending for the Japanese Movie was still good. I wasnt really crazy for Mello and Near in the anime but L was great.

  • Sorshia

    Oh and as for the shinigami having Johnny Dep play Ryuk would be awsome. I am not kidding on that…lol

  • Ruin

    Light Yagami should be played by an Asian American or Canadian. That much is true.
    L – My favourite contender at the moment is Ezra Miller, star of ‘We Need To talk About Kevin’ and ‘Perks Of Being A Wallflower’. You may say that L should be a British actor with an English accent, but do remember that his English Dub voice actor was Canadian!
    Ryuk – Should be voiced by Brian Drummond, his English Dub voice actor, as was done with the Japanese Live Action. He is the only man who has proven his worth as Ryuk, and that voice takes Mad Skillz.
    Raye Penber – Keanu Reeves. Because why not? I’d like to see this guy as an Agent rather than a Rebel.
    Soichiro Yagami – Eugene Levy, for his excellence as a father figure? This man is actually so baddass, it would be a crime not to.
    Watari – Ian McKellen. He is British and most excellent.
    Roger Ruvie – Geoffrey Rush. The resemblance is uncanny.
    Shuichi Aizawa – Samuel L. Jackson. Number 1, an American version means a more diverse cast. Number 2, both Aizawa and Jackson pull off good afros. And Number 3… ‘That’s it! I’ve had it with all these Motherf**king Kiras in this Motherf**king Investigation!’ Tell me that isn’t pure win.
    Touta Matsuda – Zack Braff. This character is one of Comedy Relief, most of all, and an actor with great comedic instinct and timing is paramount. Do you see now?
    Lind L. Tailor – Alessandro Juliani. This man, as well as being famous for his parts on Smallville and Battlestar Galactica (2003), was the English Dub voice actor for L himself. By having him play as the man parading as L, we can pull off quite the nice cameo.
    Naomi Misora – Action lady herself, Lucy Lui. I mean, who DOESN’T want to see this?

    Yes, quite a few suggestions. Just tell me what you think.
    Ruin XXX

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