Starting Friday, Death Note fans will get the chance to watch You're Next director Adam Wingard's interpretation of the Japanese manga series, which has been told in comic, television and movie form over the years. The Netflix original film already has a vote of confidence from the original storytellers, and boasts an impressive cast that includes Nat Wolff as Light, a teenager who is given the Death Note, and Willem Dafoe as Ryuk, the evil Shinigami who gives Light the book, helping to stir the pot. The original Death Note is a huge story, so when we recently interviewed Wingard following a visit to his set, he shared his plans for a possible sequel, explaining:
For this film, it felt like it was very much the origin story. But it opens itself up great for all kinds of different avenues to carry over. Specifically with Light. With this movie, it's really about Light coming into his own. He doesn't start, in this film, as the super genius that he is in the anime and the manga. It's more that he has to earn that status. And by the end of this movie, you can see that there's definitely a big change within him. And that could easily carry over into a sequel. It'd be very interesting to see the arc of that character essentially go from a normal high school kid to somewhat of a super villain.
The original Death Note was a serialized story published in a magazine between 2003 and 2006. That lengthy story eventually was adapted into a TV anime series, with 37 episodes. Since then Death Note has inspired video games, TV shows, movies and more, leading to this Netflix series. Since Netflix decided to do a movie and not a series, there had to be cuts to the story to fit a two-hour time frame. But Adam Wingard already has it in mind where he'd like this story to go, if they are given the chance to keep telling the story.
What is the story? Well, Ryuk (Willem Dafoe) is an ancient Shinigami -- or evil spirit -- who has been passing the Death Note on to people all through history. The Death Note is a book, and when you write someone's name in it, they instantly die. Light (Nat Wolff) is a dejected high schooler who is given the power of the Death Note, and with some guidance from classmate Mia (Margaret Qualley), tests the book's limits while a detective, L (Lakeith Stanfield), tracks them down.
We recently ran an exclusive clip, which shows off Light and L's first encounter:
We clearly don't know yet if Adam Wingard's Death Note warrants a sequel. But it's interesting to know that he already has a plan in place to focus on the development of Light as an antagonist, which makes sense to those of us who know the overall story. Death Note will hit Netflix on Friday, August 25. Head over to our complete Netflix Schedule to see what else will hit the streaming service between now and the rest of the year.