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Kenji Urai, Hayato Kakizawa Star in Death Note Musical

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Japanese version will open in April 2015

Actors Kenji Urai and Hayato Kakizawa are double cast for the role of Light Yagami in the stage musical adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's manga Death Note. The actors will star in the Japanese version of the play at Tokyo's Nissay Theatre beginning in April 2015. A Korean version will run from July to August, 2015 with a different cast.

Urai starred as Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask in several of the Sailor Moon musicals. He also appeared in Kamen Rider Kuuga as N-Daguva-Zeba and will play Kentarō Yano in the live-action adaptation of Kazuhiko Shimamoto's college life manga Aoi Honō.

Kakizawa appeared in the live-action Kaiji 2 film as Tamotsu Murakami and in Crows Explode as Tamotsu Honda.

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.

A workshop was held in New York City in English for the benefit of the Japanese and Korean producers in April.

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. Website The Tracking Board reported that American director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) will direct the film.

Source: Comic Natalie

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