Death Note Hollywood Film Appoints Director

The infamous Japanese manga set to be remade in the US with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black calling the shots

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The infamous Japanese manga Death Note has such a tantalising central high-concept, such an international notoriety and such potential to star a couple of good-looking lads either of whom could become the next Edward Cullens, Hollywood just couldn’t resist for long. And now it’s happening.

The project has been bubbling under for a while, but now, according to Deadline , things have taken a major step forwards. Warner Bros has hired Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director Shane Black to direct a live action adaptation of Death Note .

The original manga was written by Tsugumi Ohba, illustrated by Takeshi Obata and collected in 12 trade paperbacks that have sold more than 38 million copies worldwide. The central idea is that a teenage boy called Light comes into possession of a mystical, deadly notepad. If he writes the name of someone in the notepad, then they will die. Armed with this ability he goes on a bit of a power trip, dishing out his own form of justice. He’s egged on by a gothy, Tim-Burton-esque Death God called Ryuk (for whom the whole deal is like some kind of social experiment) and pursued by the reclusive, bare-footed, floppy-fringed emo L, the greatest detective in in the world. L and Light are soon locked in a complex battle of wits.

This won’t be the first live action Death Note, as the manga has already spawned three films in Japanese: Death Note , Death Note: The Last Name and L: Change The World . The first two were fairly faithful adaptations of the manga, but the third (which wasn’t as well received) kind of did its own thing with the existing characters.