It Takes Shane Black To Get Me Interested In Manga

The great Shane Black becomes attached to direct an adaptation of the DEATH NOTE manga.

We don’t have enough Shane Black. The once hottest writer in Hollywood took himself out of the spotlight for a couple of years, and then found himself a little too early on the Robert Downey Jr bandwagon with the incredible Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. But Black’s still kicking around; last year we heard that he got attached to direct a revival of Doc Savage.

Now he’s attached to direct an adaptation of the Japanese manga Death Note. If you’re like me you have no clue what the hell this is, so here’s what Wikipedia says:

The main character is Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook, the “Death Note”, dropped on Earth by a death god named Ryuk. It centers around Light’s attempt to create and rule a world cleansed of evil using the notebook and the efforts of a detective known as L, and subsequently his successors, Near and Mello, to stop him. The Death Note grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name they know, by writing the name in the notebook while picturing their face.

Well that sounds like exactly the kind of thing that could start an uproar in US schools, with kids buying ‘Death Note’ notebooks and writing the names of their teachers in them. I’m all for it.

Black is a huge fan of the book, apparently. “It’s my favorite manga, I was just struck by its unique and brilliant sensibility,” Black told Deadline. “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.”

Black’s not sure what’s next - he still has Doc Savage, he now has Death Note at Warner Bros and he still has some original ideas kicking around he might like to do with Joel Silver. Whatever is next I hope he just gets to it - it’s been too long since the last Shane Black movie.