Deadline Hollywood has the goods on what's going on with the live action Death Note adaptation for the U.S. market that's been percolating for awhile. News broke today that director Shane Black, whose directorial debut and sole directorial credit was Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, has been tapped to handle the project. The script for it is being done by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry who are also working with Black for his another feature that's dueling with this one as to which will go into production first, Doc Savage.
“It’s my favorite manga, I was just struck by its unique and brilliant sensibility,” Black said. “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. Jeff Robinov and Greg Silverman liked that.”
Check the history for Shane Black over at Deadline Hollywood where you can see how he began with his first script for Lethal Weapon being picked up while just out of UCLA and on to the film that helped get Robert Downey Jr. back into the mainstream.
Death Note stared out as a manga that ran from 2003-2006 with twelve volumes in total in Japan which then spawned a thirty-seven episode TV series as well as a few games and anime film compilations. A series of three live action films in Japan were also done with all three released here in the US through Warner Bros. and Viz Cinema. As of the end of 2008, reports indicate that the twelve volumes from the manga series had sold in excess of 26,500,000 copies.
Plot summary: Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. 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. Will Light's noble goal succeed, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?
Thanks to AntoBlueberry for the submission.