Hideo Nakata will helm “L,” a spinoff from the megahit “Death Note” pic pair, producer Nippon Television Network (NTV) announced Wednesday.
Nakata, the horrormeister whose credits include “The Ring 2” and the upcoming “Kaidan” and “The Ring 3,” signed on to the project after three years in Hollywood.
Nakata said he wanted to make more movies in Japan and that he was taken with the perf of Kenichi Matsuyama in the “Death Note” pics and wanted to work with the actor.
Matsuyama plays the sweets-loving “genius” detective who matches wits and wills with a power-besotted college student able to kill anyone he pleases simply by writing the person’s name in a mysterious notebook.
“L” will focus on the detective’s story before the events of the two “Death Note” pics, which grossed a total of ¥8 billion ($67 million) in Japan last year.
Principal photography is skedded to begin in August, with NTV handling planning and production in partnership with Nikkatsu.
Warner Japan will release the movie in the first half of 2008 in Japan.