Shane Black To Direct Adaptation Of The Manga Death Note

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-01-13 12:51:47discussion comments
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Even if Shane Black were to never write another script again, he will always be one of my favorite Hollywood writers. From the late 80s to the mid-90s, nobody scripted better action than Black, producing films like Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight. Also not to be ignored is the insanely amazing and criminally under-seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which Black both wrote and directed in 2005. Since then, however, he has been a ghost, writing a short film called A.W.O.L. back in 2006 under the pen name Holly Martins (taken from Carol Reed's The Third Man), but not making any features. Lucky for us, that changes today.

Deadline reports that Shane Black has signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga Death Note. The writer/director will also oversee the script being written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, who also worked on Black's adaptation of Doc Savage (which apparently still a project in development over at Sony). In the story, a character named Light comes across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill anybody whose name has been written on its pages. Light chooses to use the tool for good and becomes a vigilante trying to rid the streets of crime. His actions quickly catch the attention of a FBI criminal profiler known only as L who begins to hunt him down. Speaking about the project, 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."

I can't recall ever reading a single page in a manga book in my life, but I'm already in love with this idea. Hell, my mouth gaped when I learned this past weekend that Shane Black helped Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen while they were working on The Green Hornet. This is very exciting news and let's hope that it's only the beginning of a new work cycle for the greatest Hollywood action writer.
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