Adam Wingard is remaining firmly in the genre of eerie thrillers now that the You’re Next and The Guest director has signed on to helm the long-gestating live-action Death Note feature, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on the eponymous, widely popular Japanese manga, the story follows Light Yagami, a brilliant young mind who stumbles upon the titular notebook before coming to the harrowing realization: any name scrawled on the pages of said book is a dead man walking. What ensues is a cat-and-mouse game between Yagami and the local police department, who quickly catch wind of the spiralling death count. Originally running from 2003 to 2006 in Japan, the manga soon reveals that an ancient group of deities drop the Death Note into Yagami’s path intentionally, and from there the manga flirts between dimensions, raising questions of morality and other existential themes.
Warner Bros. is spearheading this latest development on the popular Japanese project, with the likes of Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka on board to produce. Not too long ago, Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang‘s Shane Black had been in the running to oversee the project, though today’s announcement means that Wingard replaces him in the director’s chair.
Whether the studio sticks to its gun and taps Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) for script duties remains to be seen, though it’s still too early to gauge which direction WB will push the project. Will the studio lean towards a more refined, streamlined version of Death Note to appease the broadest audience possible? Or will Warner Bros. double down on the dark nature of the source material to create a live-action manga befitting of its name? Time will tell.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter