Netflix Acquires Rights To American Live-Action Death Note Movie

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Netflix is in final negotiations to acquire the rights for Adam Wingard's American live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga/anime series Death Note, Variety reports.

The flim stars Paper Towns actor Natt Wolf and Margaret Qualley, and was originally at Warner Bros. before being put into turnaround at the studio. Wolf is playing Light, a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that bestows him the power to instantly kill anyone simply by writing the victim's name. He uses this power to cleanse the world of evil, but a cat-and-mouse game ensues when he's tracked by gifted detective.

Lionsgate and STX were among the other studios considering the property, but Netflix is poised to come out on top with a June start date being planned for production.

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While Netflix has become one of the more active buyers in the festival circuits, the studio's deal is not expected to reach the same levels as Brad Pitt's War Machine and Bright, which stars Will Smith and was acquired by the streaming service for more than $90 million. Death Note's deal expected to fall in the $40 million to $50 million range.

The film was confirmed to be rated R, and producer Roy Lee explained that it "will be one of the first manga adaptations that feels very grounded but still has fantastical elements."

The two-part Japanese live-action adaptation of Death Note was great, and I hope that the American version won't ruin what made the franchise great. I'm still wondering how Ryuk will be portrayed or if the main character's surname will be changed to something non-Japanese.

Here's Death Note's synopsis:

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life? Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily Light's father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father's files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn't know?