Death Note Manga Gets Stage Musical by Japanese/U.S. Team
posted on by Egan Loo
Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's hit manga Death Note is being adapted into a stage musical that will run in Japan and South Korea in 2015. The musical will play in Tokyo's Nissay Theatre in April of 2015, before heading over to Seoul's LG Art Center in July and August.
Frank Wildhorn, an American composer known for songs sung by Whitney Houston ("Where Do Broken Hearts Go?") and Natalie Cole, is scoring the Death Note musical. He previously wrote the music for the Jekyll & HYDE, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War, Carmen, Wonderland, and The Count of Monte Cristo musicals. Tamiya Kuriyama, a recipient of the Japanese government's Medal with Purple Ribbon, is directing. Jack Murphy (The Civil War, Rudolf, Carmen, Wonderland, The Count of Monte Cristo) is writing the lyrics, and Ivan Menchell (The Cemetery Club, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bonnie and Clyde) is writing the script. The cast has yet to be announced.
In the supernatural suspense 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. The 12-volume manga ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 2003 to 2006.
The manga has already been adapted into three live-action films and one television anime series in Japan. Viz Media released the Death Note manga, the anime series, and a spinoff novel, while its Viz Pictures affiliate released the three live-action films in American theaters.
Warner Bros. acquired the live-action film adaptation rights to the series from the previous rights-owner Vertigo Entertainment in 2009. At the time, screenwriter brothers Vlas and Charles Parlapanides were attached to the project. Warner Brothers then hired Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; writer of the Lethal Weapon film series) to direct Death Note, shortly before Marvel Studios revealed that Black would also direct Iron Man 3. Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry were slated to write the Death Note project's script.
Images © Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/Shueisha