Death Note is no stranger to violence. After all, the hugely popular anime centers around a supernatural journal that can kill people at a moment’s notice. The gritty series is one that has garnered millions of fans all over the world, prompting Hollywood to take notice and begin production on a live-action Death Note film — and it will be plenty violent.
In a recent interview with Collider, director Adam Wingard spoke about his take on Death Note. He took time to assure fans that Death Note will be every bit as bloody as its source material depicts.
“We can do whatever we want,” he started. “So, doing my first live-action anime thing, to me it was important that you have those adult themes. So, it’s got nudity, it’s got swearing, it’s got a ton of violence.”
Many fans were concerned how the movie would fair given its recent move to Netflix. The streaming site acquired rights to the film after its fate floundered at bigger film studios.
Adam talked about his own past with anime and said that the genre’s unflinching association with adult-oriented content inspired him.
“The thing about anime is that it’s so adult-oriented,” he explained. “I remember going to Suncoast growing up and you see Akira there with the little 'Not for Kids' sticker on it. That always made an impact on me.”
To bring a sense of grounded gore to Death Note, Adam said he brought on a friend of his, Jason Eisner. His friend worked on Hobo with a Shotgun, a cult comedy thriller that features plenty of violence. “I brought him on – I’m good friends with him – as second-unit director,” Adam revealed. “There’s basically like three good Jason Eisner short films in there and they’re all very gory. I was able to just turn him loose sometime, and just do some crazy stuff.”
This definitely isn’t the first time the folks behind Death Note have referenced the project’s adult themes. This spring, producer Roy Lee said there was no way the film would get anything below an R-rating.
“It’s definitely for adults,” he stressed. “It is zero chance it will be below an R-rating. [It] will be one of the first manga adaptations that feels very grounded but still has fantastical elements.”
For those of you unfamiliar with Death Note, then you should know its contents are a dark. Originally a manga, Death Note tells the story of Light Yagami after the high school student comes across a strange notebook with deadly powers. Should the journal’s owner inscribe someone’s name in its pages, the intended victim will die. Intoxicated by his godlike power, Light begins to kill those he deems unworthy while local police frantically try to discover the culprit behind these mysterious deaths.
Death Note began filming in June and is slated to release at some point next year.