Last news received on the DEATH NOTE front, Shane Black had written a script for the feature adaptation of the popular Japanese manga, with an eye toward directing; this as recently as April 2013. Obviously, he's now has his hands full with the reboot of PREDATOR, so that's not in the cards anymore. But the project is far from dead.
According to The Tracking Board, Gus Van Sant (GOOD WILL HUNTING, PSYCHO, MILK) will direct the film for Warner Bros., utilizing the screenplay written by Black, Anthony Bagarozzi, and Charles Mondry.
Here's the plot of the original manga, created by Tsugumi Ohba and manga artist Takeshi Obata:
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects--and he's bored out of his mind. But all 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. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life?
Dan Lin, Doug Davison, Roy Lee, and Brian Witten are producing through Vertigo Entertainment, Witten Pictures, and Lin Pictures.