WB's Live-Action DEATH NOTE Movie Lands New Director

WB's Live-Action DEATH NOTE Movie Lands New Director

According to The Tracking Board, Gus Van Sant will direct Warner Bros.' live-action adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's popular Death Note anime and manga.

A live-action Death Note movie has been in development at Warner Bros. since 2009 and at one time, had Shane Black attached to write and direct the project. However, the latest from The Tracking Board has director Gus Van Sant jumping on board to take the reins. Most of the Western audience probably knows the property best as an anime that ran on Cartoon Network's Toonami and Adult Swim programming block from 2007 - 2010. There have been three live-action Death Note films produced from Japanese film studio Nippon Television - Death Note (June 2006), Death Note: The Last Name (November 2006) and the spinoff film, L: Change the World (February 2008). As recent as April 2013, Shane Black confirmed that he was still attached to helm the project, however, it was also revealed around the same time that there were creative differences between he and WB regarding Light's mission and the use of shinigami. Producing the feature are Dan Lin, Doug Davison, Roy Lee, and Brian Witten through their respective production houses, Vertigo Entertainment, Witten Pictures, and Lin Pictures. The latest draft of the script was completed by Black, Anthony Bagarozzi, and Charles Mondry. Gus Van Sant is best known for Good Will Hunting and Milk.

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? Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note's powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily Light's father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father's files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn't know?
Posted By:
Mark Julian
Member Since 6/8/2011
Filed Under "Anime & Manga" 7/8/2014
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Doopie - 7/8/2014, 5:09 PM
they should have kept Shane, he could have made this as successful as IM3 which is a film with absolutely no faults
SuperCat - 7/8/2014, 5:13 PM
Never heard of the anime but seems like it would make an interesting movie.
Enphlieuwince - 7/8/2014, 5:15 PM
I could never get into this show. Probably because I started in te middle of a season. But, as long as the movie turns out good enough to influence WB to finally take a crack at Bleach, I'm down. Alex Pettyfer for 'Ichigo Kurosaki'.
Ranger14 - 7/8/2014, 5:19 PM
I liked the live adaptation that was already done. Hollywood will most likely whitewash and water it down though. Time will tell if they can do it justice, but this does not excite me in the least.
DaVinci31 - 7/8/2014, 5:19 PM
A live-action Death Note film?

Enphlieuwince - 7/8/2014, 5:20 PM
SuperCat It's like an anime version of Dexter. If you like a show with a lot of grim dialogue and psuedo-intellectual exposition, then you'd probably like this.
SpiderFraud - 7/8/2014, 5:24 PM
I didn't even know they was planing on making a Death Note movie, plus they got a decent Director.

I'm all in for this one.
CherryBomb - 7/8/2014, 5:24 PM
Really liked Death Note!
Wow they've chosen an amazing respectable director! - so excited for this now.
DeusExSponge - 7/8/2014, 5:26 PM
Oh c'mon, some anime should never see the light when it comes to live action movies. While I can see Death Note making the transition easily, it will most have an American cast replacing the Japanese cast and take place in the U.S. Why not have a crack at adapting Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan to the silver screen? They have the budget and that series has a multicultural cast and it's a huge hit around the world as of now. It's basically begging for a big screen adaptation!
Karmatron - 7/8/2014, 5:29 PM

The anime series of DeathNote is amazing! I just finished watching it and it delivers in spades.

I have not read the manga though
NovaCorpsFan - 7/8/2014, 5:30 PM
Anime should never be adapted to live-action, just let the 500 episodes stand on their own, jeez.
SpiderFraud - 7/8/2014, 5:34 PM

Death Note is only 26 episodes and its a easy adaption for a live action movie. All they really gotta do is nail the tone and maybe split it into two parts.

I do agree about those 500+ eps, they should never see the light of day, unless they have a solid plan.
Humperdink - 7/8/2014, 5:35 PM
Anime fans always want to see their favorite flicks become a major live action film.

Until they actually see it.

Has it ever worked out?
I can't think of a time that it has.
NovaCorpsFan - 7/8/2014, 5:36 PM

I know, just making a joke regarding how shit loads of animes have over 500 episodes.
Karmatron - 7/8/2014, 5:38 PM

Dragon Ball Evolution worked wonders!!!
Humperdink - 7/8/2014, 5:38 PM
Personally I'd rather the ones I actually have enjoyed (I'm not a big fan but some of Hayao Miyazaki's work is amazing) never be attempted at making into a Hollywood blockbuster.

I just don't have faith that it would work.

whoa123 - 7/8/2014, 5:38 PM
Holy sh*t they got a solid director for this one.
SpiderFraud - 7/8/2014, 5:40 PM

Lol, ok

Even though you was joking, you're still speaking the truth.

Dragonball Z would probably be a horrible adaption, even if they put out a pretty good movie.
InfiniteMonkey - 7/8/2014, 5:47 PM
Was going to bash this in but instead,...I wish this creative team luck and prosperity.

I can't wait to see what they produce.
JamesMan - 7/8/2014, 6:09 PM
Great director... but why?
storyteller - 7/8/2014, 6:19 PM
It would be interesting to see how it turns out. I think Death note is heavily dependent on a Japanese culture. So to cater to a western audience, it likely needs to be changed or most won't get it.

Taking a foreign concept while placing it in a foreign world doesn't usually work.
Spidey91 - 7/8/2014, 6:20 PM
Van Sant is a damn good director, this is awesome news.
I've never seen the anime though. I know what the story's about and I've heard nothing but good things about it.
shamo - 7/8/2014, 6:27 PM
Hell yeah! Huge step up from Shane Black. Can't wait for this.
NightForce - 7/8/2014, 6:35 PM
Just watched this show on Netflix its awesome and someone said it already its basically an anime DEXTER with supernatural elements. But the movie will probably similar to how "Edge of Tomorrow" is based off an anime but altered for the movie.
iFightForTheUsers - 7/8/2014, 6:35 PM
While I am hesitant about the idea of a Westernized Death Note adaptation, Gus Van Sant being attached is definitely appealing to say the least.
Space - 7/8/2014, 6:38 PM
It won't do it justice.
CombatWombat - 7/8/2014, 6:38 PM
solid choice
Comedian666 - 7/8/2014, 6:40 PM
One of my favorite manga/anime/live actions ever. I own all the adaptations of it, including the three live action Japanese ones, which are great. I think it could easily make the live action transition with a bigger budget than the previous ones.
Chekkarma - 7/8/2014, 6:41 PM
Are the characters going to actually be Japanese or white,with a random black guy somewhere in there??...
Humperdink - 7/8/2014, 6:55 PM

Yeah I've seen some of those productions, it looks like they put in a solid effort. I think those sort of productions may be the best versions you could actually hope for until Hollywood actually gets off it's butt and surprises us all.
wailler - 7/8/2014, 6:56 PM
Gus Van Sant is one of my favorite directors, their films are great, I love "Elephant", "My Own Private Idaho", "Last Days". I hope he direct this. What a good new!

IcemanX - 7/8/2014, 7:00 PM
best anime series, i also love Cowboy Bebop and Hellsing and movies like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, i watched 5 episodes of Trigun but it was boring
TheAstoundingMan - 7/8/2014, 7:00 PM
This seems like one of those projects that will sit in development hell for a number of years, before being quietly ushered out with little or no fanfare in a few years' time.

I figured 'Light's mission' would be a point of contention; it would be interesting to see what Shane Black and WB couldn't agree on.
LexHairFight - 7/8/2014, 7:02 PM
Gus Van Sant? I'm not buying it. I hope to be wrong, but if they ha creative differences with Black, how is Van Sant going to work?
Lilvic92 - 7/8/2014, 7:03 PM

Dc and Marvel comics have hundreds of different stories too
And even though some animes (DBZ, One Piece, Naruto etc.) have 500+ plus episodes, alot of those exist due to non canon filler or just shit dragged on from the manga.

Anime fans deserve to have the stories they grew up loving adapted to the big screen just as much as comic fans

Imagine if Zack Snyder tackled a DBZ Saiyan Saga Goku vs Vegeta-esque movie, that would be just as epic if not MORE epic that Superman vs Zod. It's about damn time anime movies started getting treated with care and respect lol rant done.
Ace101 - 7/8/2014, 7:10 PM
Death note is down right amazing. I enjoyed the japanese live action movies but i have doubts that hollywood can do it justice.

Fav Anime:
Death Note
Steins Gate
Attack on Titan
shamo - 7/8/2014, 7:18 PM
Enphlieuwince - 7/8/2014, 7:30 PM

You speak the unabridged truth.

Once upon a time CBMs weren't taken seriously and we have plenty of Dragon Ball: Evolution quality adaptations in our rearview. But, if Hollywood would have given up after Superman III, Batman and Robin, or, the first Captain America, we would have never gotten to The Dark Knight trilogy, The Avengers, X-Men: Days of Future Past, or, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Constantly pointing out the failure of one anime adaptation is hardly a rational excuse to give up on the future of a genre brimming with so much untapped potential. If the general audience can learn to love comic book movies, then they are ready for anime/manga adaptations. It's going to take someone with passion to see the source material treated respectfully for us to get a great movie and then other filmmakers will step up and realize they don't have to butcher a good thing to make it work.
DeusExSponge - 7/8/2014, 7:38 PM
Enph - While you're right, I believe that the amount of anime that can actually adapted onto the silver screen is rather small compared to comic books. Especially since they're from an entirely different culture and what not. However the ones that actually could be adapted on to the silver screen have some great potential, for example Berserk, Attack on Titans, Monster and maybe even Hellsing.
Enphlieuwince - 7/8/2014, 7:41 PM
"Where there is a will there is a way." There is just too many talented filmmakers in and around Hollywood for me to concede that they are incapable of making a great anime/Manga adaptation that captures that essence of the source. Ang Lee would be amazing for a Princess Mononoke live action film. I think a lot of us automatically associate American with Hollywood. Though I believe there are American directors who would do well with a Manga adaptation.
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