by Clay Bohle
After years of silence surrounding the Warner Bros. live-action remake, it finally looks like everyone’s favorite teenage serial killer is one step closer to the American big screen. Horror director Adam Wingard has signed on to direct the project, and shooting is set to begin once Wingard wraps up his current Lionsgate feature, ‘The Woods.’
Wingard is best known for his slasher horror films ‘You’re Next’ and ‘The Guest,’ as well as segments of both ‘V/H/S’ and ‘V/H/S/2.’ This begs the question of how a slasher horror director will envision a ‘Death Note’ film, and what exactly Warner Bros. is trying to create for the American market. All is not lost, however, as Wingard also helmed the pilot of ‘Outcasts,’ Robert Kirkman’s new demonic possession series on Cinemax, so Wingard has some experience adapting comic book material.
The current ‘Death Note’ screenplay was written by Jeremy Slater, who penned the horror film ‘The Lazarus Effect’ and the upcoming reboot of ‘Fantastic Four.’
Wingard is the third director to sign on to the Warner Bros. project, which has been stuck in the development phase at the studio for six years. In 2009, when Warner first announced that they had acquired the rights to the Japanese manga hit, Gus Van Sandt was attached to direct. Fans of the ‘Death Note’ series had high hopes for this version from the filmmaker behind ‘Milk,’ ‘Elephant,’ and ‘Good Will Hunting,’ but the project never got off the ground. In 2011, it was announced that Shane Black, the man behind ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ and ‘Iron Man 3,’ would be replacing Van Sandt, but that version failed to launch as well.
Will Wingard be able to helm a version of ‘Death Note’ that finally makes it to the big screen? Only time will tell.
Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka are producing the project, Doug Davison and Brian Witten are exec producing, and Niija Kuykendall and Nik Mavinkurve are overseeing for the studio.