Shane Black To Direct ‘Death Note’ Adaptation

The 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' director takes on the wildly popular manga for Warner Brothers.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

The Death Note has a new name on its pages.

Warner Brothers has signed Shane Black to helm a live action version of "Death Note," according to Deadline. "Death Note" is an extremely popular Japanese manga series that was created by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata.

The original story follows a young man named Light, who discovers a mystical notebook which can kill any person whose name he writes within its pages. Although Light initially uses the notebook’s power to eliminate criminals, he is soon pursued by the FBI profiler known as L. The "Death Note" manga ran for 12 volumes and has been adapted into both an animated series and three live action movies in Japan, in addition to video games and novels. It also has a significant fanbase in America.

“[‘Death Note’ is] my favorite manga, I was just struck by its unique and brilliant sensibility,” said Black. “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."

During the ’80s, Black was considered one of the most influential action screenwriters in Hollywood, with credits including "Lethal Weapon" and "Lethal Weapon 2." Several of Black’s follow up scripts were written on spec like "The Last Boy Scout" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight," which also made him one of the highest paid writers in Hollywood. Black also appeared as an actor in several minor roles in "Predator," "Dead Heat," "Robocop 3" and "As Good As It Gets."

In 2005, Black made his feature film directorial debut with "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which helped spark Robert Downey, Jr.’s comeback.

The "Death Note" screenplay will be written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, who will also be teaming up with Black for an adaptation of the classic pulp hero, "Doc Savage."