Shane Black Directing a New Adaptation of 'Death Note' Manga

January 13, 2011
Source: Deadline

Death Note

After seeing previews for small theatrical screenings of the Japanese live-action adaptations of the popular manga Death Note, I could not have been less interested in checking out the international film trilogy. However, news from Deadline that Shane Black (writer of the Lethal Weapon franchise and director of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) has been hired by Warner Bros. for a new live-action adaptation of the Death Note series. The story follows a boy named Light Yagami who stumbles upon the Death Note, a notebook that delivers death to any human whose name is written on its pages, and vows to use it to rid the word of evil.

For a little more information on the story, here's the official synopsis:

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life? Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily Light's father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father's files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn't know?

Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry are adapting the manga after working on Doc Savage, an upcoming drama that Black will direct for Sony. Black says, "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." The gritty, film noir feel of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang shows Black has the right sensibilities for a film like this, but that's the only film he's directed. Of course, once being at the top of the spec script market, Black has plenty of experience in Hollywood and I don't doubt his skills one bit. How about you?

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Ummm what? I mean I love me some Shane Black, but Death Note is a really weird choice for him.

SkaOreo on Jan 13, 2011


America needs to leave Asian movies alone.

Roderick on Jan 13, 2011


Yeah, cause "Asians" did such a great job with the film adaptations. Those films sucked ass.

SkaOreo on Jan 13, 2011


I agree, the movies had redeeming qualities but the overall story arc took a sharp tangent in the second movie from the anime series. I understand leaving out material for time constraints but so much of it was completely fabricated and just sub par compared to the source material.

floppytall on Jan 13, 2011


Its their material, let them do what they want with it. You don't see asian film companies trying to redue american films. You won't ever see a japanese adaptation of Spiderman. If they do this, it'll probably end up being like Dragonball. Horrible American adaptation of a Japanese manga/cartoon.

Roderick on Jan 14, 2011


So what? Movies are remade all the time, as well as adaptions of popular novels and comics. Just because it's based of an Asian work of art doesn't mean it's taboo to remake for the American culture. If the Asian community, or those who worked on the original wanted, they could make it for the American populace, and quite frankly, the International populace is what we're all talking about. Yet they haven't. So you'll have to deal with it.

Aaron on Feb 10, 2011


Japanese did have an adaptation of spiderman way back actually. So they have taken an american series and made it their own.

Extremejn01 on Feb 8, 2012


Too long, too deep, too loved to be made by an American. I await the comments from hundreds of fanboys/L-loving-girls talking about how horrible this is.

S~Doyle on Jan 13, 2011


I never read the manga and only watched the live action movies, but L was by far my most hated character. I wanted to beat that emo fucker into a bloody pulp every time he appeared on screen. >.<

Anonymous on Jan 14, 2011


The CGI for the "shinigami" must be better than the Japanese live action one. LOL

GIZMO on Jan 13, 2011


This will ONLY work if there's already a two-three picture deal in place. WAaaay too much happens throughout the manga to do it justice. Too many twists and turns to be explained.

Jo Momma on Jan 13, 2011


Oh wow, I actually have some hope for this American remake now. I really disliked both the Japanese films, as well as most of the anime adaptation, but what Black said about the "spirituality" of the story really gives me the impression he can draw out of the story what the other adaptations utterly lacked, i.e. the complexity of the characters.

Wren on Jan 13, 2011


Shane Black you say? SOLD.

Anonymous on Jan 14, 2011


I hope the make the actors white or indian like Airbender.

Jim on Jan 14, 2011


cast zack efron as L he is a decent actor and looks just like him

p86 on Jan 14, 2011


This could be good, let's hope this doesn't end up like The Last Airbender or Dragonball: Evolution...

Cruzer on Jan 14, 2011


Phenomenal series, Lights progression to ultimate asshole and the people he takes down to play the game is just great, even up until the end never knowing if he's gonna get his comeuppance or not.....excitement, she wrote, I am very excited by this.

Voice of Reason on Jan 14, 2011


Sounds awesome, please do the phenomenal anime and manga justice!, and cast someone HOT! as Misa Misa, As for Light, I'd just think of high school musical if I saw efron playing him, May I suggest Chase crawford?, L has to be someone awesome, Jackson Rathbone, (Jasper from twilight, johnny depp is 2 old looking, but still may be a good choice), Near = Liam Aiken, Mello = Michael Pitt, The voice of ruk = Brian Dummond. Can't wait for this!

Shane on Jan 15, 2011


they better do the anime justice or i will hate warner bros sooo much!

A5J4DX on Jan 16, 2011


Screw the next movie about DN, continue the manga.. Ow and above all, L needs to life!.. According to L: Change The world he still has one more day left to life, let him do something usefull with it like ( PILOT STORY ) finding the death eraser.. Loves <3

T.Tetsuga on Apr 26, 2011


Americans will just ruin the complexity of this series. Light, who new exactly what he was doing and is such a deep, dark character, is most likely going to be turned into an innocent high schooler who is remorseful at the end. I don't know what the director is thinking, taking on such a big project, but do I wish him luck, and I hope he captures each character at least decently. (And I seriously hope for a Near, Matt, and Mello in this one. That would improve MY ratings for sure.)

CacoPhoniA on Jul 22, 2011

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