Correction: Shane Black won't be writing the script to DEATH NOTE; he'll be overseeing a script written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. Sorry for the error.
I've never seen any of the DEATH NOTE films, the anime or read the manga, but I know of the property due to it's huge popularity in Japan. The story, at least to me, sounds very RING-ish, though I fully admit to having only a cursory knowledge of the material. I'm sure for those of you who know more about it I'll hear all about the differences between DEATH NOTE and other J-horror properties in the Talkback.
Deadline reports that Warner Brothers is going to bring this multivolume story to the United States, and it's tapped Shane Black to
adapt, write, and direct the film. “It’s my favorite manga, I was just struck by its unique and brilliant sensibility,” Black said to Deadline. “What we want to do is take it back to that manga, and make it closer to what is so complex and truthful about the spirituality of the story, versus taking the concept and trying to copy it as an American thriller.”
The manga, which is about a notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written inside it, has had great success in Japan, with many films, books, and anime being released there and doing very well. Black would probably bring a more American sensibility to the project, and considering his work on films like KISS KISS, BANG BANG, he’d probably bring a strong sense of humor as well.
Read more about Shane Black’s involvement and more about DEATH NOTE at Deadline.