The Duffer Brothers announced they will be working on a new Death Note live-action series for Netflix.
Light Yagami will be back on the live-action screen! A new Death Note live-action series adaptation was announced to be in the works by Stranger Things creators, Matt and Ross Duffer aka the Duffer Brothers this week. The showrunners revealed a list of projects as a part of their newly formed studio called “Upside Down Pictures” and they told Deadline how they want to provide a “new take” from the previous Netflix live-action Death Note film.
The Death Note manga was created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, which was serialized between 2003 and 2006. It was a supernatural suspense cult-hit manga that focused on teenager, Light Yagami who finds a mysterious black notebook—titled “Death Note”—that could kill people by writing their names in the book. The story became interesting as he became a vigilante of sorts by killing known criminals. However, an ace detective who goes by the public name, L, does not believe Light to be a hero but a vigilante criminal for taking justice into their own hands.
The series was a trendsetter for the dark, anti-hero genre as many of these darker vigilante superhero shows became more popular, such as The Boys or Invincible. While the manga was not as light-hearted as anti-hero stories like Deadpool, it set a precedent of creating thought-provoking philosophies on what it meant for a human to have the power to take any life without having to physically take their life.
Back in August 2017, Netflix released its first iteration of Death Note in a film directed by Adam Wingard. It starred Nat Wolff as Light Turner, Keith Stanfield as L, Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton, Willem Dafoe as the voice of Ryuk, Paul Nakauchi as Watari, and Shea Whigham as James Turner. Although the film had powerhouse performances from Stanfield and Dafoe, a lot of fans were quick to roast the series due to it not being faithful to the source material.
The Japanese live-action films were also hit with mixed reviews when they premiered back in 2006 in Japanese theatres. As for the anime series, many fans will probably say it was the best of the adaptations, with minor faults. The manga allowed a 37-episode television anime series to be produced between 2006 and 2007.
So, why does this new adaptation by the Duffer Brothers matter? Ultimately, it could mean that this could be the adaptation fans of the manga have been waiting for. For the most part, the writing for Stranger Things has been spectacular, especially with the last two parts of season 4. The teen horror series has met so much success as it has had various collaborations in Dead by Daylight and Magic the Gathering. The core of the show even inspired a huge growth in the Dungeons & Dragons community as the kids in the show displayed how fun the fantasy game was.
The Duffer Brothers will be wrapping up Stranger Things with its final season coming soon, so it would make sense for them to start thinking about their next big hit(s). The actors themselves have grown up rapidly and could be potential talent to star in their Death Note adaptation since the characters mostly revolve around teenagers. Or this could be a great opportunity for the Duffer Brothers to grow new talent again. The possibilities are not limited as they have a proven successful record on Netflix.
While there have not been any teases about their upcoming Death Note live-action series, I could trust they could handle the genre as it would be around the same ballpark of supernatural and sci-fi found in Stranger Things. I am also confident the casting should be amazing as many of the actors from Stranger Things have gone or were a part of other big films like Finn Wolfhard in It. I cannot wait to see what the Duffer Brothers put out and to be fair, the bar for live-action adaptations of this manga/anime series has not been high.