Netflix Begins Filming Adam Wingard’s Death Note

When it comes to film, live-action adaptations of anime are historically hit-or-miss. While fans [...]

death note
(Photo: Madhouse / Viz Media)

When it comes to film, live-action adaptations of anime are historically hit-or-miss. While fans would prefer to never mention that Hollywood's Dragonball: Evolution ever happened, other titles such as Japan's adaptation of Assassination Classroom have gone over well. Fans, however, have been willing to overlook Hollywood's iffy past with anime after Netflix announced it had taken control of a live-action Death Note film. And, now, it seems like filming on the project is now underway.

Netflix confirmed that the filming on Death Note has started with principal photography scheduled to shoot in Canada and the U.S. The film, which will be directed by Adam Wingard, is set to adapt the beloved manga/anime which millions of fans have come to adore. Death Note will star Nat Wolff alongside others such as Margaret Qualley, Keith Stanfield, Paul Nakauchi, Shea Whigham, and more. As for the film's producers, Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs, and Masi Oka will be overlooking the project.

Unlike projects like the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film that have been heavily criticized for whitewashing its source material, Death Note has avoid such attacks given its adapted story. Wingard's film will portray an 'Americanized' Death Note with characters' names being change, locales being moved, and mythology more-than-likely being ignored. After all, the original manga centers around the existence of Japan's Shinigami (or God of Death), and many casual audiences may not be familiar with foreign gods.

For now, the film's official synopsis hints that the remake will follow its source material as closely as possible. The description can be read in full below:

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.

If the film does well, it wouldn't be surprising to see sequels spin-off from the project. In Japan, where live-action adaptations of the anime have existed since 2006, there are already 3 popular Death Note films with another slated for an upcoming release. I mean, there's even a stage musical based on Death Note abroad where murderous songs are all joyfully sung.

So, who knows? Maybe fans of Light and L might get to see the two teens hit Broadway if everything works out well.