Warner Brothers Acquire Live-Action Death Note Rights (Update 2)
posted on by Egan Loo
The American film studio Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to adapt Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's Death Note supernatural suspense manga series into a live-action film. In the manga, a teenager finds a notebook with which he can put people to death by writing their names. He begins a self-anointed crusade against the criminals of the world, and a cat-and-mouse game begins with the authorities and one idiosyncratic genius detective. In the proposed film version, the main character is described as a college student, and the story will cover the first three of the 13 manga volumes.
Vertigo Entertainment (no relation to DC Comics' Vertigo imprint or the United Kingdom's Vertigo Films) revealed last year that it was developing a remake with screenwriters Vlas and Charles Parlapanides. The two brothers remain attached to the project. Vertigo's Roy Lee (The Lake House, Shutter) and Doug Davison (Dark Water, The Lake House), Lin Pictures' Dan Lin (This Side of the Truth, Sherlock Holmes), and Brian Witten (executive producer of Final Destination, 2009's Friday the 13th) are also attached as producers. The manga has already been adapted into three live-action films and one television anime series in Japan.
Vertigo Entertainment has developed or is developing remakes of Ju-on (The Grudge), Dark Water, Nankyoku Monogatari (Eight Below), Siworae (The Lake House), Infernal Affairs (The Departed), Gin gwai (The Eye), Shutter, My Sassy Girl, Jungdok (Possession), Sigaw (The Echo), and Janghwa, Hongryeon (The Uninvited). The Parlapanides brothers were writers and executive producers of Undercover, an update of the 21 Jump Street television series which was under development for The CW network. They also wrote the War of the Gods film (in pre-production) for Relativity Media and Live Bet for Universal Pictures.
Viz Media has released the Death note manga, the anime series, and a spinoff novel, while its Viz Pictures affiliate released the three Japanese live-action films in American theaters. The third film, L change the WorLd, just finished its two-night theatrical run in the United States on Thursday.
Update: More background information added.
Update 2: More production information added.
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