Death Note is a lot of things. The franchise mixes elements of horror, fantasy, and the driest sense of humor. Over the years, fans have come to know Death Note for its suspense-driven story, but its live-action debut failed to bring that tone over in full. However, that doesn’t mean Death Note is totally done with adaptations.
No, the franchise is still being eyed for a live-action musical, and it seems those plans are still in the works.
Recently, Ivan Menchell opened up about Death Note’s musical adaptation. After a fan named Dan Thompson asked the writer if the live-action play would be brought to the US, he had this to say:
Glad you like it! Still not date. But I am fairly certain it will go to London before coming to NY.— Ivan Menchell (@ivanmenchell) March 19, 2018
“Still not date. But I am fairly certain it will go to London before coming to NY.”
So, there you have it. There is no date associated with the musical’s US premiere, but it seems Death Note will hit the West End before it ever reaches Broadway. There is no telling what the delay is about, but fans are more than willing to lay the blame on Netflix’s adaptation of the series. The film received mixed reviews upon its debut, and many anime fans admitted they weren’t thrilled with its overly romantic subplot.
Still, vested anime lovers are interested to see Death Note’s musical adaptation. The franchise may not lend itself to such a crossover, but the musical has proven to be hugely popular abroad. The first Death Note musical made its debut in April 2015, and it has gone on to tour all over Asia and Australia. The play’s score was done by Frank Wildhorn who is best known for his composition work on Jekyll & Hyde. Jack Murphy oversaw lyrics while Ivan Menchell penned its story.
To date, Death Note: The Musical remains one of Japan’s most successful play adaptations of an anime. Fans and critics were impressed by the project’s diverse soundtrack, but the musical’s set left much to be desire. English-speaking fans got a taste of the musical when a concept album for Death Note was released in the US, so groundwork has been put down for the play. Now, someone needs to figure out how to pull how Ryuk on stage and all will be well.
Do you think anime musicals can be successfully adapted for US audiences? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!