Shane Black to Direct Adaptation of Japanese Manga DEATH NOTE

     January 13, 2011

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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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