Based on the Japanese manga and anime of the same name, the series follows a high school student who comes into possession of a strange notebook that allows him to kill anyone he likes, however he wants, without being caught. Both the anime and manga can get gruesome at times, and in an interview with Collider, Wingard said that part of the reason he was happy to be doing the project with Netflix was the creative freedom to make the movie they wanted.
Unlike films that have theatrical releases, Netflix doesn’t have to abide by any regulations or rules. The company can therefore allow Wingard and his team to make the most gruesome version of the film that they want without having to go through the MPAA to secure a rating. As a result, Wingard said they can stick to the adult material that Death Note is known for and incorporate as much violence or nudity as they want.
"So, doing my first live-action anime thing, to me it was important that you have those adult themes," Wingard told Collider. "So, it’s got nudity, it’s got swearing, it’s got a ton of violence."
Death Note was originally optioned by Warner Bros., but the studio decided to let go of the project after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The studio said it had taken on too many projects and wanted to focus on a smaller slate. A bidding war broke out across most major studios, with Netflix beating everyone out to secure the rights to the film.
Death Note will be released sometime next year.