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Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black scrawls an American version of Death Note

01.13.2011

LETHAL WEAPON writer Shane Black has been keeping a low profile for the past decade or so, aside from directing his exceptional modern noir KISS KISS BANG BANG.

Now he's itching to get back behind the camera, and he's looking to kill some criminals via supernatural means with a version of DEATH NOTE for Warner Bros. The hugely popular manga has spun off into novels, anime and live-action features in its home country of Japan.

The story follows a student named Light Yagami, who finds a mysterious notebook that causes the death of anyone whose name he writes in it. With questionable assistance from a mischievous freaky-looking death god called Ryuk, Light decides to cleanse the world of evil by acting as executioner, which draws the attention of International Police.

Black will direct after overseeing a script from Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. Black tells Deadline: "It’s my favorite manga, I was just struck by its unique and brilliant sensibility. 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 has already been working with Bagarozzi and Mondry on adapting pulp hero DOC SAVAGE for Sony, which is still in the works.

Extra Tidbit: A few years ago, Black was attached to direct a spy thriller called COLD WARRIOR, which would have reunited him with Mel Gibson. Probably not gonna happen now...
Source: Deadline

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7:43PM on 01/14/2011
I'll refrain from judgement. I love Death Note, favorite manga ever, and I can honestly see an improvement in quality over the Japanese films, as I am never fond of the acting in those films (considering the films are generally made as more of a pop culture/money cash in than for an actual quality product). However, I fear studio involvment will lessen the quality, as they may try to add their shallow input. American manga adaptations can never really mean a good thing, but in the case of Death
I'll refrain from judgement. I love Death Note, favorite manga ever, and I can honestly see an improvement in quality over the Japanese films, as I am never fond of the acting in those films (considering the films are generally made as more of a pop culture/money cash in than for an actual quality product). However, I fear studio involvment will lessen the quality, as they may try to add their shallow input. American manga adaptations can never really mean a good thing, but in the case of Death Note, they may very well be able to craft a good thriller.
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6:16PM on 01/14/2011
Well, I'm not against the idea but I thought the original movie was just fine. Still, it could be profitable and he seems to be a fan so maybe he won't totally muck it up.
Well, I'm not against the idea but I thought the original movie was just fine. Still, it could be profitable and he seems to be a fan so maybe he won't totally muck it up.
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10:58AM on 01/14/2011

Its About Time!

Nice to finally hear some news about what's going on with this film. I'm glad Black read the manga and wants to stick with it and not stray into another direction. This means the guy is actually serious about making the adaptation an excellent film. As long as he sticks to what he says and they don't hold any punches, we'll have a very good movie coming to the theaters soon.
Nice to finally hear some news about what's going on with this film. I'm glad Black read the manga and wants to stick with it and not stray into another direction. This means the guy is actually serious about making the adaptation an excellent film. As long as he sticks to what he says and they don't hold any punches, we'll have a very good movie coming to the theaters soon.
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8:34AM on 01/14/2011
Really enjoyed the first two Death Note films, especially the first one. Can see this being an interesting story to rework for a western audience.
Really enjoyed the first two Death Note films, especially the first one. Can see this being an interesting story to rework for a western audience.
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3:59AM on 01/14/2011
For now I'm not for an American version, but I'll wait for more details.
For now I'm not for an American version, but I'll wait for more details.
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2:53AM on 01/14/2011

That is one weird looking asian dude.

But Shane Black is all kinds of awesome. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang is a really fun movie. If it had come out after Iron Man it would have been huge. Bad timing. Hope he teams up with RDJ again.
But Shane Black is all kinds of awesome. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang is a really fun movie. If it had come out after Iron Man it would have been huge. Bad timing. Hope he teams up with RDJ again.
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8:06AM on 01/14/2011
I might be wrong, but he looks exactly like the kid that survived in the movie Battle Royale
I might be wrong, but he looks exactly like the kid that survived in the movie Battle Royale
4:29AM on 01/16/2011
-McameronM- that is exactly the same kid you're thinking of... love that movie
-McameronM- that is exactly the same kid you're thinking of... love that movie
+2
2:53AM on 01/14/2011
Just watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang again last night. Death Note's one of the greatest manga ever, so no doubt this will be amazing. Hopefully they only do the first half of the series? I didn't like Mello and Near.
Just watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang again last night. Death Note's one of the greatest manga ever, so no doubt this will be amazing. Hopefully they only do the first half of the series? I didn't like Mello and Near.
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2:07AM on 01/14/2011
The guy who gave us Lethal Weapon and the brilliant, underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang can do whatever he wants. The man is a genius and is terrific at what he does. This sounds great.
The guy who gave us Lethal Weapon and the brilliant, underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang can do whatever he wants. The man is a genius and is terrific at what he does. This sounds great.
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12:01AM on 01/14/2011
YEESSSS!!! Any Shane Black news is amazing news. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is in my top 5 of the entire decade and I've been waiting with baited breath for a damn follow-up film. Whatever it is, it will be amazing.

The real questions now are
A) Will he be writing this as well? His writing is why I love Shane Black so he better be writing it.
B) When will Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) get off his ass and give us another movie? Both he and Black apparently decided to direct one masterpiece and
YEESSSS!!! Any Shane Black news is amazing news. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is in my top 5 of the entire decade and I've been waiting with baited breath for a damn follow-up film. Whatever it is, it will be amazing.

The real questions now are
A) Will he be writing this as well? His writing is why I love Shane Black so he better be writing it.
B) When will Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) get off his ass and give us another movie? Both he and Black apparently decided to direct one masterpiece and then disappear for years. What the hell guys. Get working.

P.S. New Captain America costume, New Spiderman costume, Possible continuation of POTC, and the new Shane Black film. Today has been a good day for me.
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11:36PM on 01/13/2011
I gotta say this one more time..
Death note is one of the most smart and complex mangas ever made. The material is so complex that you can make a masterpiece classic genre film or could be an epic failure..be careful.. Hollywood ruined Dragon Ball the first time, Shamalyan ruined Avatar the second time, if they mess Death Note I'll set the Warner Bros Studios on fire.
I gotta say this one more time..
Death note is one of the most smart and complex mangas ever made. The material is so complex that you can make a masterpiece classic genre film or could be an epic failure..be careful.. Hollywood ruined Dragon Ball the first time, Shamalyan ruined Avatar the second time, if they mess Death Note I'll set the Warner Bros Studios on fire.
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1:49AM on 01/14/2011
If you burnt down Warner Brothers we would never get to see The Dark Knight Rises, and the joblo community would collaboratively kill you, murder on the orient express style.
If you burnt down Warner Brothers we would never get to see The Dark Knight Rises, and the joblo community would collaboratively kill you, murder on the orient express style.
10:24AM on 01/14/2011
You got a point there. Sometimes I let myself drive by my love/hate relationship with hollywood and don't see all the angles.. I'll hunt the director and the screenwriters then..just in case they fuck up this piece of art manga, if they do a decent work, I'll be the first happy dude around..
You got a point there. Sometimes I let myself drive by my love/hate relationship with hollywood and don't see all the angles.. I'll hunt the director and the screenwriters then..just in case they fuck up this piece of art manga, if they do a decent work, I'll be the first happy dude around..
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