After some long speculation, a sequel to Netflix's Death Note live-action movie has been confirmed!
Instead of a big, official, announcement, the confirmation of Death Note 2 actually came buried in a report from THR, which broke down the future of Netflix's blockbuster movie division. After its controversial debut last fall, Death Note was definitely one subject of discussion in the article, leading to the following reveal:
"Among properties it already owns, Netflix is developing a sequel to 2017's horror-thriller Death Note, which Sarandos has called a "sizable" success, with Greg Russo writing the script."
No confirmation yet that Wingard will be coming back to direct, though it should be noted that Russo is an entirely new addition as the script writer. The same question looms over the cast of the film, most notably Nat Wolff as protagonist Light Turner; Lakeith Stanfield as his nemesis, the investigator "L"; and of course Willem Dafoe as the voice and facial performance as "Ryuk" the Shinigami (or Japanese god of death) who carries out the gruesome kills written into the Death Note book.
The first film left things on a massive set of cliffhangers, with Light having escaped L's pursuit, only to be discovered by his cop father, James (Shea Whigham). Meanwhile, L discovered a means of revenge against Light, in the form of a Death Note page left behind by Light's dead (and very twisted) girlfriend, Mia (Margaret Qualley). Viewers were left on the edges of their collective seats, waiting to see if L would betray his principals and use the Death Note against Light. The sequel could pick up with such answers - or do something entirely different.
Unlike so many other anime adaptations, Netflix's Death Note lends itself to the possibility of growing into its own unique franchise - one that could easily function as an anthology of films, rather than direct sequels. The only connective threads needed are Ryuk and the Death Note, and with the addition of a whole new cast and storyline, the franchise would quickly become some more akin to the Final Destination series, rather than the Death Note manga and anime. it might indeed be a better approach, as many fans of the source material were upset with Netflix's adaptation; starting an entirely original story for the sequel might be a way to retain the audience that loved the first film, and free the haters from making such direct comparison between the Japanese and Hollywood versions of the franchise.
If you haven't already, check out our full breakdown of 'How to do Death Note Sequels the Right Way'. In the meantime, we'll keep you updated on the status of Death Note 2.