When summarised, Tsugumi Ohba’s supernatural manga Death Note, can only sound ridiculous. The plot follows a young, handsome high-school student who finds a strange notepad containing a series of rules. By writing names in the notebook, the student realises he can kill anyone, anywhere, without consequence. In an attempt to cleanse the world of evil, the boy becomes embroiled in a battle of wills with the world’s leading detective; who also happens to be a young, handsome adolescent.
The whole thing is crammed with sexual tension and nerve shredding plot twists. Oh, and there’s also some gods knocking around. They love apples. Death Note is, however, incredibly popular, both in Japan and the West; garnering multiple adaptations – so far there is a superbly realised anime series, numerous YA novels, a live action TV show, and now two sets of live action films. Pretty impressive for a narrative that makes very little sense.
Adam Wingard‘s film is the latest adaptation, and so far I’m pretty excited. Wingard has already shown himself as a deft hand with the horror genre; his filmography includes the convention defying You’re Next (2011) and the darkly hilarious The Guest (2014). Taking over the project after Shane Black‘s departure earlier this year, Wingard seems a great choice, and now he appears to have found his leading man.
Variety has announced that Nat Wolff, star of John Green adaptation Paper Towns, is likely to star as Light; the murderous student in possession of the Death Note. Wolff, who was relatively unknown before his supporting role in another Green adaptation, 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars, is in final negotiations for the role. The American actor was also up for the role of Peter Parker in Marvel’s untitled Spider-Man reboot, eventually losing out to Tom Holland.
The project will be written by Jeremy Slater, who was responsible for the latest rewrite of this years disastrous Fantastic Four reboot. However, with Tsugumi Ohba overseeing the film, and Doug Davidson & Roy Lee (The Departed, How to Train Your Dragon) as executive producers, Death Note bears a lot of promise. Production on Death Note is set to begin next Spring.