Variety is reporting that Nat Wolff (Paper Towns, The Intern) is in final negotiations to star in Warner Bros. adaptation of the popular manga, Death Note. Wolff is expected to be playing the film’s version of Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural book that gives the possessor the ability to kill anyone by writing the person’s name in it. Our would-be hero eventually decides to use the book to combat evil, which naturally makes him some enemies.
Death Note, created over a decade ago by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, has become a franchise juggernaut over the years. In addition to the original 13-volume manga, the property has also spawned a popular anime series, a live action television series, and a trio of live action Japanese films (with another on the way). Jason Hoffs, Dan Lin, Masi Oka, and Roy Lee are producing the WB adaptation, with a spring start of production being eyed.
While this project has been in the works at Warner Bros. for awhile now and has moved between a few different directors over the years, including the likes of Gus Van Sant and Shane Black, it finally seems to be happening. Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) will be the one in the director’s chair come spring when the film lenses, working from a script by Anthony Bagarozzi, Vlas Parlapanides, Chuck Mondry, and Jeremy Slater. The latter is responsible for the latest draft of the screenplay.
Wingard is primarily known for his work in the horror genre, from the aforementioned films to A Horrible Way To Die to the pilot for the upcoming possession-themed Cinemax comic book series, “Outcast”. Given the supernatural nature of Death Note, he seems well-suited to the task at hand. The director is currently in-production on his latest film, The Woods, and continues to prep Death Note on the side.