As I mentioned in my review of the film, the new version of ‘Death Note’ now streaming on Netflix may have a polarizing effect on its audience, based on the viewer’s knowledge of the history of the property. Since this new film version is based on a long-running Japanese manga and anime series, it will likely leave fans of this original medium disappointed, while simultaneously largely satisfying folks who are getting their first taste of the series via the film.
Netflix, for its part, is certainly hoping to capture much of the latter portion of the audience – and it sounds like the streaming/production company is prepared to deliver on a sequel if the situation calls for it. According to the film’s director, Adam Wingard, in a recent interview:
“At the end of the day, there are a lot of places to explore where to take Light. And ultimately the series is sort of about almost his downfall as a character. This is sort of the beginning of it or the origin of it. There are definitely lots of places to go, and we know generally where we would take it. Hopefully people will watch it and Netflix will order a sequel. They definitely are ready to. They just need people to watch it.”
Wingard went on to compare his ‘Death Note’ adaptation to another big-screen anime adaptation that initially struggled to find an audience as well”
“Things like ‘Speed Racer,’ for instance, they are really trying to bring an anime to the screen. What I wanted to do was adapt [‘Death Note’] in a way like you would a novel — as though you’d never seen anything from it. I didn’t want it to feel cartoon-y.”
With a current rating of 43% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.7/10 on IMDB, ‘Death Note’ seems firmly implanted in the “Meh” category for most viewers. Time will tell if Netflix makes the call, from a business standpoint, to greenlight a sequel.
‘Death Note’ is currently streaming on Netflix.