With an eye on beefing up its library of feature films (particularly those stories that appeal to a diverse, global audience), Netflix has confirmed that principal photography has begun on the Adam Wingard-directed project Death Note.
The film, which will shoot in Canada and the U.S., is an adaption of the Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. It tells the story of a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook that holds a great power — namely, if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated by power, the teen begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.
The movie stars Nat Wolff (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars) as Light Turner; Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys, The Leftovers) as Mia Sutton; Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton, Dope, Short Term 12) as “L”; Paul Nakauchi (Alpha and Omega) as Watari; and Shea Whigham (Agent Carter, Boardwalk Empire) as James Turner. It’s produced by Roy Lee (The Ring, The Departed), Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Sherlock Holmes), Jason Hoffs (Edge of Tomorrow), and Masi Oka (Heroes Reborn, Hawaii-Five-0).
Wingard (The Guest, You’re Next), said the strategy behind the adaptation is to bring what he calls “this dark and mysterious masterpiece” to the screen for longtime manga fans, and introduce it to a whole new audience of young viewers around the world.
“The talent and diversity represented in our cast, writing, and producing teams reflect our belief in staying true to the story’s concept of moral relevance — a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries,” said producers Lee and Lin in a joint statement.
Miri Yoon (Behaving Badly), Jonathan Eirich (Hammerspace), John Powers Middleton (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, The Lego Movie), and Brendan Ferguson (Big Eyes, Reasonable Doubt) are on board the project as executive producers.
Death Note is set to bow globally on Netflix in 2017.