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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Oooh. Ahh. Death Note.

We’re a mix of excited/trepidatious at my house about the news that Shane Black is reportedly on board to direct a live-action adaption of one of our favorite, favorite, FAVORITE manga series, Death Note.

When I shared the news with my Death Note fanatic teenager, the first thing she asked was “Okay, who is this guy and what has he adapted before?” I’m not surprised that she would be wary … after the way M. Night Shyamalan took the very excellent anime series Avatar: The Last Airbender and turned it into a decidedly mediocre live-action adaptation, anime and manga fans aren’t too keen on having yet another beloved series screwed up.

Rumor has it that High School Musical hottie Zac Efron has been in talks about playing series protagonist Light Yagami, a brilliant high-school student who becomes a serial killer after he gets his hands on the Death Note, a mystical book that will kill anyone who’s name is written in it. Light, who assumes the serial killer alter-ego of “Kira,” ends up in a battle of wits with the mysterious, antisocial, equally brilliant detective L, who’s hot on Kira’s trail.

Death Note is an excellent series, and it’s going to be a challenge to adapt it well. But I actually really like the idea of Efron, who proved his chops as more than just a Disney pretty boy in Me and Orson Welles, taking on the dark role of the teenage sociopath. He could be really good in this role.

I’m a little less excited about Black as the director, though I’m not sure who my own pick would be. Maybe Zack Snyder, or Michel Gondry, or even David Fincher, who handled the serial killer/detective vibe so well with Se7en. We’ll see.

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7 Responses to “Oooh. Ahh. Death Note.”

  1. Phreak9mm says:

    You know they made 3 live action Death Note movies already, right?

  2. Chris says:

    Well,I’m pretty much the opposite on this one. I love Shane Black and I’m super excited he’s finally doing a follow up to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but the news that he’s doing an adaptation of a manga disappoints me. I’d rather see something a lil more original from the guy who brought us some seriously good stuff in the past.

    I guess as long as the demon in this movie doesn’t look as bad as the one in the Japanese live-action version of the film, we’re off to a good start. I remember seeing commercials for that thing in movie theaters before films and being astounded by how awful it all looked.

  3. CR8 says:

    @Phreak9mm, those were in Japan with Japanese actors, speaking in Japanese. This film is going to be done/remade by Hollywood… Wonderful.

  4. Alhafra says:

    Why? Why do they have to remake good films a la Hollywood? They always end up f*cking things up… and what’s up with Efron as Kira? He’s way too old for that part, and I don’t think he’ll be able to portray his character’s depth.

  5. Jill says:

    I saw the Japanese versions and liked those, so here’s to hoping Shane Black can stick to the manga and not do what Harry Potter movies have done. Delete things from the books and then put things IN the movies that were not even in the books.

  6. Seto says:

    I absolutely LOVE Death Note and am actually really excited for the movie, but seeing how much they KILLED the manga/anime with the Japanese movies… I’m somewhat worried about what this is gonna be like. And since it’s been 5 years since the others, I hope that they can make Ryuk, Rem, and Gelus look more real.

  7. Proman says:

    Avatar: The Last Airbender wasn’t anime.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon