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Netflix in Final Talks to Produce Live-Action Death Note Film

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Former Warner project aims to start shooting in June with star Nat Wolff, director Adam Wingard

Entertainment news source Variety reported on Wednesday that Netflix is in "final negotiations" to acquire and produce a live-action Death Note film, which was previously in development at Warner Bros.

The report states that STX and Lionsgate are some of the other studios that sought to acquire the project, and the production will cost somewhere "in the $40 million-$50 million range." The project is aiming to begin production in June.

The project previously cast Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns) in the lead role. Wolff's character's name has not yet been revealed, but Variety describes him as "a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone simply by writing the victim's name." Variety also mentions that he will compete with a "reclusive police officer."

Adam Wingard (The Guest, You're Next) has signed on to direct the film, and Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) penned a recent draft of the script.

Vertigo Entertainment's Roy Lee (Dark Water, The Lake House, Shutter), Lin Pictures' Dan Lin (This Side of the Truth, Sherlock Holmes, The Lego Movie), Viz Productions' Jason Hoffs (Edge of Tomorrow), and actor Masi Oka (Heroes, Hawaii Five-0) are producers. Doug Davison (Dark Water, The Grudge, The Lake House) and Brian Witten (Dark City, American History X, Final Destination) are executive producers, and Niija Kuykendall and Nik Mavinkurve had been overseeing the project for Warner.

In Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's original 2003-2006 supernatural suspense manga, teenager Light Yagami finds a notebook with which he can put people to death by writing their names. He begins a self-anointed crusade against the criminals of the world, and a cat-and-mouse game begins with the authorities and one idiosyncratic genius detective.

Warner Bros. had acquired the rights to the series from previous rights-holder Vertigo Entertainment in 2009. At the time, screenwriter brothers Vlas and Charles Parlapanides were attached to the project. Shane Black (Iron Man 3) and Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) were previously linked as directors to the project.

In addition to the 2006 television anime adaptation and tie-in specials, Death Note also received a Japanese live-action film adaptation in 2006, with a sequel titled Death Note: The Last Name, and a spinoff titled L change the WorLd in 2008. A live-action television series adaptation premiered last July, and ended last September. A new film titled Death Note 2016, described as a "forbidden sequel" to the first live-action film, is set to open in Japan on October 29. The manga also inspired a stage musical by Broadway veterans in 2014. Viz released the manga, Japanese live-action films, anime, and other tie-in projects in North America, and Crunchyroll streamed the live-action television series.

Source: Variety (Justin Kroll)

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