A lot of us thought the Netflix rendition of Death Note was a one & done event, especially after it received a 40% rating on Rotten Tomato. Not to mentiont the huge amount of heat creators received by Americanizing the plot, relocating it from Japan to Seattle, and whitewashing the cast.
Despite all of it, it looks like we were wrong about a sequel.
Netflix is ready to open up its Death Book again, as The Hollywood Reporter has casually let it be known that a sequel is on the way.
Netflix itself hasn’t given the sequel any fanfare. However, slipped in among a discussion of the mixed returns the company has been getting in response to its movie development ventures, the Hollywood Reporter diagnoses part of the problem as “In a marketplace increasingly driven by known intellectual property, the streamer has few, if any, brand-name film franchises despite spending $8 billion this year on programming.” It then goes on to say that:
Among properties it already owns, Netflix is developing a sequel to 2017’s horror-thriller Death Note, which [Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted] Sarandos has called a “sizable” success, with Greg Russo writing the script.
Since Netflix doesn’t publicly release statistics for its movies and series, there’s no way to numerically gauge what, to Sarandos, qualifies Death Note as a “sizable success,” either in terms of viewership or generated revenue. Considering that Death Note was a fairly high-profile release for Netflix’s original content team last summer, though, one would think the company had high expectations for its adaptation, which in Sarandos’ mind were subsequently met.
As mentioned above, the 2017 Death Note’s scriptwriting team of Charles and Vlas Parlapanides plus Jeremy Slater has been replaced by Greg Russo, who’s also attached as a writer to an in-development reboot of the live-action Resident Evil film series as well as a new live-action Mortal Kombat movie. It’s not known if Adam Wingard, director of the 2017 Death Note will return, or if he’s got his hands full with Hollywood’s new Godzilla vs. King Kong, which is slated for a 2020 release.