Gus Van Sant Tapped to Bring Death Note to the Big Screen

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Gus Van Sant Tapped to Bring Death Note to the Big ScreenIt’s been well over a year since we’ve had anything to report about the long-gestating live action adaptation of the Japanese manga series Death Note, which Shane Black was originally hired to direct.

Now it seems he’s off the project, and The Tracking Board reports today that Gus Van Sant will direct the film for Warner Bros. Yes, THAT Gus Van Sant, the man behind the camera for films like Good Will Hunting, Milk, and that remake of Psycho we choose to ignore here on Dread Central.

The most recent draft of the script was written by Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, and there’s no word yet on whether or not that script is the one Van Sant will be directing.

Dan Lin, Doug Davison, Roy Lee, and Brian Witten are producing through Vertigo Entertainment, Witten Pictures, and Lin Pictures.

Written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, Death Note was originally published in Japan and later collected in 12 trade paperbacks that have sold more than 38 million copies worldwide. The protagonist, Light, is a bright student who stumbles across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill any person whose name he writes in it. Light decides to launch a secret crusade to rid the streets of criminals. Soon, the student-turned-vigilante finds himself pursued by a famous FBI criminal profiler known only by the alias L.

Death Note is wildly popular in Japan and has been turned into live action and animated films, an animated TV series, novels, and video games. The trio of live action films was distributed by Warner Bros. Japan. Warner Bros. acquired the manga rights from Shueisha and previously got a script draft from Charley and Vlas Parlapanides.

More soon!

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John Squires

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