Death Note, an original Netflix film adapting the classic anime, is set to start streaming on August 25. That gives director Adam Wingard just three more days to get Netflix to agree to a sequel before everyone sees the film and trashes it on social media.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wingard says a sequel has always been the plan:
When I first pitched the movie to Netflix, that was my main thing,. This film is very much an origin story and there's a lot of different places we can take it. The movie really works as a closed loop. But I think ultimately it is a great property to explore. There's a lot of things that could happen from here. I would love to [be involved]. I am doing Godzilla vs Kong now, so that's, like, two-and-a-half-years at least, so it depends on the timing. Depending on when they want to do it, I would definitely be involved in terms of the story and all that kind of stuff.
But a Death Note sequel may be a hard sell if the early reviews are any indication. In the headline of their review yesterday, IndieWire proclaimed, "Adam Wingard's Netflix Adaptation Is a Whitewashed Waste of Time." Slashfilm called the movie "A Thoughtless and Lazy Adaptation of the Acclaimed Manga." The Wrap says that "Remake of Japanese Hit Loses Everything in Translation," while Polygon calls it "A lazy, meandering attempt that fails to entertain." IGN's review is more charitable than most, calling the film "A flawed take on the beloved manga." IGN's is one of just three fresh reviews on Rotten Tomatoes., though the other two seem to genuinely like it.
Death Note starts streaming on Friday, so the countdown is on. Will Netflix agree to a sequel before then? Will the movie turn out to be inexplicably popular despite the poor reviews? We'll soon find out.