Yesterday heralded a relatively major shakeup over at Warner Bros., after it was revealed that the studio now plans to rein in its slate to focus on tentpole movies, affecting the release dates of several high-profile projects including Jungle Book: Origins – pushed into 2018 – and Patty Jenkins’ standalone Wonder Woman movie.
There were, however, also some casualties to the internal overhaul, one of which being Adam Wingard’s (The Guest) long-gestating adaptation of Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba’s iconic Japanese manga series. Although Warner Bros. initially planned to distribute the live-action feature film, Variety now reports that WB has dropped the movie, only for it to be saved by Netflix.
According to the report, much of that switcheroo came down to the allotted budget for Death Note, which allegedly falls in the $40-$50 million bracket. That’s considered a few pegs below Warner’s new focus on big-budget tentpole releases, though the fact that Netflix swooped in to acquire the rights ensured Wingard’s feature wasn’t lost in the fallout.
The Fault in Our Stars actor Nat Wolff also remains attached to headline, portraying a unassuming student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone simply by writing the victim’s name. Morbid stuff, no doubt, and it’s a setup that spawns a cat-and-mouse game between him and a reclusive police officer. Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka will produce, while Doug Davison and Brian Witten will handle executive producing.
Gunning to craft a Death Note adaptation deserving of an R rating, Wingard and now Netflix’s feature film is expected to hop into production at some point later this year.