Shane Black to direct WB’s ‘Death Note’

Film based on the Japanese manga series

Warner Bros. has tapped Shane Black to direct “Death Note,” based on the Japanese manga series with Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Doug Davison and Brian Witten producing.

Studio confirmed Black’s attachment Thursday along with the signing of Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry to pen the adaptation.

Black’s also been attached to direct Columbia’s “Doc Savage” project from a screenplay he’s penning with Bagarozzi and Mondry (Daily Variety, Feb. 23).

Black, one of Hollywood’s highest-paid scribes of late ’80s and early ’90s, when he penned such screenplays as “Lethal Weapon” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” has moved into directing in recent years. He made his helming debut with the Robert Downey Jr. starrer “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” in 2005.

The Warners project centers on a college student who finds a misplaced death note that gives him the power to kill by writing anyone’s name while mentally picturing the person. Warner Bros. Pictures Japan made three Japanese-language “Death Note” films.

Lin and Lee both have first-look deals at Warners. Charley and Vlas Parlapanides wrote the original draft of the “Death Note” script.

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