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Black Out, Van Sant In for DEATH NOTE Adaptation

Iron Man 3 director Shane Black is no longer attached to direct the western remake of Death Note. Instead, the Tracking Board reports that Warner Bros. has brought Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant on board this week to get the adaptation to the big screen.

Warner Bros. picked up the rights to Death Note all the way back in 2009, and have since been attempting to deliver a remake of the manga from writer Tsugumi Ohba and illustrator Takeshi Obata. The source material follows brilliant college student Light Yagami, who discovers a book that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in its pages. As Light begins using the book to terrorize Japan – and later, the world – into ending crime and war, a nameless likewise brilliant private investigator only known as “L” begins piecing together the clues to Light’s identity.

Black felt like an odd fit for the material – his bombastic, funny, and sometimes brilliant action movies don’t really jibe with the dense thriller at the heart of Death Note. But is Van Sant a better fit? The director has really made a bigger name for himself with deliberate character studies, so I’m more curious than anything else to know how he would grapple with the supernatural elements of Death Note and whether the script from Black, Anthony Bagarozzi, and Charles Mondry has any room for the fast-paced twists and turns of the source material.

If Death Note goes in front of the cameras, it would be the fourth film based on the manga (and wildly successful anime), following a pair of Japanese-language films with Battle Royale star Tatsuya Fujiwara, as well as the spinoff, L: Change the World.

[Source: The Tracking Board]

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