Death Note originally started as a manga series that follows the life of Light Yagami, a Japanese high school student with a strong sense of morality. One day he finds a notebook that allows him to kill people by simply knowing their name and their face. Overcome with power, Light decides to cleanse the earth of all criminals in the hope that he will eventually become the “God” of this new world.
He ends up working with the police to “help” them catch this new serial-killer (whom they have nicknamed “Kira”), in an attempt to lead them away from discovering his true identity. An investigator named “L” begins to suspect Light, which results in an unspoken battle between the two of them. Light tries to discover L’s real name so he can kill him, whilst L tries to prove that Light really is Kira.
Death Note was later adapted into an anime series, which ended up receiving a well-deserved 9/10 IMDB star rating. It was also made into several Japanese live-action films.
The most recent production of this exhilarating story comes from director Adam Wingard, winner of 6 awards, including Best Film and Best Director for his 2011 film You’re Next.
After being dropped by Warner Bros., Wingard’s adaptation of Death Note was picked up by Netflix. As the film’s development had already made good progress, Warner Bros. agreed to let them take the project elsewhere. Many studios showed an interest, but it was Netflix who took the opportunity.
It is rumoured that the reason Warners Bros. dropped the project in the first place is because of the disastrous reaction to Batman v Superman. They are deciding to focus on major tentpole releases instead of smaller, riskier projects.
To be honest, it seems as though the real winners here are Netflix, as they may have just picked up what could turn out to be a fantastic new movie.
Wingard’s Death Note is still currently in production, and so there hasn’t yet been a release date. However, if it’s anywhere near as good as the anime series, I think it’s safe to say it will be something worth waiting for.