Frank Wildhorn, the man responsible for bringing a batch of literary classics to the stage ("Jekyll & Hyde," "Dracula," "The Scarlet Pimpernel"), is taking on the popular manga series "Death Note" as his latest project.

A gothic tale of murder and deceit, it's the kind of story that's made for the 55-year-old composer.

"Until I was approached to do it, I'd never heard of 'Death Note,' but I was immediately intrigued," Wildhorn tells The Japan Times while visiting the Nishi-Sugamo Arts Factory in Tokyo. "My son told me I had to do it as it would be the coolest thing I'd ever done. As I started looking through the material, I soon realized what he meant."