Netflix is just applying some finishing touches on its own live-action adaptation of “Death Note”, a beloved Japanese horror manga created by renowned writer Tsugumi Ohba.
According to director Adam Wingard, the project underwent an extended period of production but is already in its final stages of editing.
“Coming up is Death Note, which I’m just now finishing the editing on,” Wingard was quoted as saying by Comicbook. “For me, I need a little breather time because the last few films I’ve done have been all stacked up on top of each other. I went from The Guest to that TV pilot for Outcast and then went right into the Blair Witch with complete overlap. I did a writers room on this other project and then went straight into Death Note.”
Before Netflix landed the adaptation, nearly every major film studio expressed interest in doing the project within 48 hours after Warner Bros. announced it was dropping it.
It would later be confirmed that Netflix had bought the film in April 2016, reported Variety. With a budget of $40-$50 million, the studio began production in British Columbia on June 30, 2016, overseen by DN (Canada) Productions, Inc. using a screenplay by Charles & Vlas Parlapanides with Jeremy Slater based on the “DEATH NOTE” manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
While no exact date has been announced yet, “Death Note” is expected to be released sometime in 2018.
Similar to other Hollywood productions based on Japanese manga such as “Dragonball Evolution” and “Ghost in the Shell”, Netflix’s early casting announcements of “Death Note” generated controversy over the race of the lead actors.
Nat Wolff, who starred in “Paper Towns”, was cast as protagonist Light Turner (Light Yagami in the original version), who, upon gaining the supernatural notebook the “Death Note”, obtained the ability to kill anyone at will.
Meanwhile, Keith Stanfield, who starred in “Straight Outta Compton”, was tapped to play Light’s nemesis, the eccentric genius and international private detective “L”, while veteran actor Willem Dafoe will voice the demonic entity Ryuk.
In defense of the casting choices, producers Roy Lee and Dan Lin stated that “Our vision for Death Note has always been to…introduce the world to this dark and mysterious masterpiece. The talent and diversity represented in our cast, writing, and producing teams reflect our belief in staying true to the story’s concept of moral relevance — a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries.”