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Death Note

Death Note 2 Writer Promises The Movie Will Be Faithful To The Manga

Netflix’s 2017 live-action Death Note was met with intense skepticism from fans of the manga. Many took issue with the Westernization of the story and the alterations to the characters and their motivations. Nowadays, it's rare to hear anyone praise it, though the aim was to open up the franchise to a wider fanbase and Netflix later indicated that by that metric, the film had been a hit.
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Netflix’s 2017 live-action Death Note was met with intense skepticism from fans of the manga. Many took issue with the Westernization of the story and the alterations to the characters and their motivations. Nowadays, it’s rare to hear anyone praise it, though the aim was to open up the franchise to a wider fanbase and Netflix later indicated that by that metric, the film had been a hit.

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A sequel was soon ordered, with Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City‘s Greg Russo on writing duties. Since that announcement, however, information has been thin on the ground about the project. There’ve been hints that Netflix would like the next movie to be more horror-orientated and that American Horror Story‘s Emma Roberts will appear as a villain, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.

We Got This Covered spoke to Russo in advance of Mortal Kombat‘s release this week and asked him what the difference is between adapting a video game and a manga, and how the Death Note 2 script is going, and here’s what he said:

“It’s funny, because it sounds like a shift in genre but really, it comes down to the same things. It’s about adapting IP. It’s about bringing over an amazing piece of fan property and trying to do it right. And Death Note, I’m a huge fan of the manga, I’m a huge fan of the original source material and I think it’s one of the greatest mangas ever written. And so for me, I didn’t play any role in Death Note, the first film that Netflix did, but I came in with kind of a point of view with what I wanted to do in a sequel. And part of that is I wanted to go back to the source material. I wanted to go back to what made the original stuff so great, and so we’re doing something really neat with it. Hopefully there will be more info on it soon, but it’s going to be… it’s not going to be exactly what you’re expecting. And I mean that in a very enticing way.”

Sticking closer to the source material will be music to the ears of Death Note fans. It remains to be seen whether the sequel is a direct continuation of the 2017 movie, a soft reboot with another character receiving the notebook, or an entirely new retelling of the story. But whichever route Netflix chooses should be fine, as the core Death Note concept is so solid that it can be re-interpreted in any number of ways and still work.

In any case, it seems Russo has a busy few years ahead of him. Beyond his trips to Outworld and Raccoon City, he’s also attached to Space Invaders and Saint’s Row movieswith talk already beginning about a fast-tracked follow-up to Mortal Kombat. Despite his busy schedule, let’s hope we don’t have too long a wait before Death Note 2 lands.


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David James
I'm a writer/editor who's been at the site since 2015. Love writing about video games and will crawl over broken glass to write about anything related to Hideo Kojima. But am happy to write about anything and everything, so long as it's interesting!