During the film's panel at last month's San Diego Comic-Con, Wingard was asked about the poor reception to recent anime adaptations such as Ghost in the Shell. And as he explained, that opportunity to make a genuinely good anime-inspired film was something he couldn't pass up.
"I think that’s exactly why you want to take on something like this. It’s because there hasn't been a lot of good ones." Wingard explained. "Specifically, Death Note is something that’s already been adapted before. And so, for us, I felt like it was a good opportunity to take something that’s already been faithfully done in the past and do our own spin on it."
Fans have already gotten an indication as to what that spin will be, with some worrying that the upcoming Netflix film would be straying too far from its predecessor. But as Wingard has since explained, the adaptation will be taking the core themes of the original Death Note to heart, despite the different setting and context.
"For me, it became about what do these themes mean to modern day America, and how does that affect how we tell the story. Ultimately, the cat and mouse chase between Light and L, the themes of good, evil, and what’s in between the gray area. Those are the core things of Death Note, and that’s really what we went for."
What if you had the power to decide who lives and who dies? We suggest you obey the rules. Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone's name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.
Death Note will be available to stream on Netflix beginning August 25, 2017.