The American film adaptation of the 13-volume manga series Death Note has found its lead. A new report says that Nat Wolff (Paper Towns, The Faults In Our Stars) will join the cast as a student to comes across a mystical book that gives him the ability to kill anyone in an instant once he writes the person’s name down in it. This leads to a cat-and-mouse chase when he catches the attention of a police officer.
The film has been under development the past few years, going through a handful of directors before it landed in the hands of Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest). More on the story below.
The popular manga, which ran from 2003 to 2006, was turned into an equally popular anime which ran for 37 episodes. Eventually, a film adaptation of the same name was released in 2006, which was followed by the release of two sequels.
Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs, and Masi Oka are producing. Doug Davison and Brian Witten are executive producing.
A bit of history on the project: in 2009, Warner Bros. beat nine other competition studios to acquire the film rights to Death Note. Shane Black and Gus Van Sant were attached to direct at different points in time before Wingard was confirmed. It is reported that Black is still working on the film in some capacity, though that has yet to be confirmed. Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) wrote the more recent draft of the script.
Wolff can be seen co-starring with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in the Nancy Meyers romantic comedy The Intern. He can also be seen in alongside Mickey Rourke, Emma Roberts, and Sarah Silverman in the comedy Ashby. He was also in the running to play Spider-Man in the Sony’s reboot of the superhero franchise, but according to the report he was deemed too old to play the character.