While superhero movies are the latest and greatest thing in Hollywood, studios are still smart enough to search outside of the glossy pages for inspiration, lest the superhero bubble explode. More recently, Warner Bros. looked to the Land of the Rising Sun for inspiration for their Tom Cruise film Edge Of Tomorrow, which was based on the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill. While the film didn’t do too well at the box office, it was pretty well received by critics and fans alike. But All You Need Is Kill isn’t the only Japanese license that’s been hopping around Hollywood. In fact, there are a number that have been floundering for the past decade.
One of these properties is the manga Death Note, which is written by Tsugumi Ohba and drawn by Takeshi Obata. Death Note follows the story of a bored high schooler, Light Yagami, who comes across a mysterious notebook. It doesn’t take long for Light to realize that whoever’s name he writes in this “Death Note” will die, and he decides to cast his judgment upon the world, killing those he feels are unfit to live. As Light continues to kill men left and right, the police start to close in on him, and a game of cat-and-mouse ensues between him and a world-famous detective named L.
Needless to say, Death Note hit it pretty big, and soon enough, it was adapted into two Japanese live-action films (plus another spinoff film), an anime series, and a couple of light novels. The story is definitely high concept in nature, and is well-suited to the big screen. But after the minor failure of Edge Of Tomorrow, it seemed unlikely that we’d get another adaption of sorts any time soon. Fortunately, it looks like that theory was all wrong. Despite the fact that all’s been quiet on Death Note for awhile, it seems like Warner Bros. has been turning the gears ever-so-slowly in the background.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Adam Wingard, the director of the horror movie You’re Next, is poised to take over directing duties for the Death Note film. Previously, it was Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) who was attached to the project, and for awhile it looked like Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) was going to sign on, but it looks like that never came to pass.
It is interesting that Warner Bros. is going with a horror director for this one. While Death Note does have its horrific aspects, many would argue that it plays much better as a thriller than a straight-up horror flick. That being said, who’s to say Wingard doesn’t have any other tricks in his bag?
What are your thoughts on Death Note being directed by Wingard? Is horror the right direction to go with this? Let us know below!