Hollywood adaptations of asian movies

A lot was riding on the success of Ghost in the Shell. The upcoming wave of anime adaptations such as Death Note and Akira, Paramount Pictures’ chance for a new sci-fi franchise led by Scarlett Johansson, and the chance to stymie the steadily-growing outcry against whitewashing.

But when Ghost in the Shell limped into theaters last weekend, bringing in a meager $20 million domestically on a $110 million budget, that may have spelled the end for Hollywood adaptations of anime classics. But this is not the first time Hollywood has tried and failed to remake a critically and financially successful film based on an Asian property — nor will it be the last time. The question I’m interested in answering is whether or not these Hollywood adaptations of Asian movies actually make money. Let’s look at the numbers. 

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death note trailer

After making terrific horror movies like You’re Next and The Guest, director Adam Wingard was supposed to break out in a big way last year with the very fun Blair Witch, a film that didn’t manage to find its feet at the box office. However, it looks like that big breaking-out just got delayed to 2017, because the trailer for his new Netflix movie, Death Note, has arrived and it looks like something that will turn a lot of heads.

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death note tone

Now that he’s successfully resurrected the Blair Witch franchise, filmmaker Adam Wingard is preparing to tackle another beloved genre property. His next movie is Death Note, a live-action adaptation of the hit manga series (and subsequent anime adaptation). But according to Wingard, this one will be less Blair Witch than The Guest, at least in terms of tone.

Speaking about his upcoming project in an interview, Wingard teased a return to “something kind of weird” for Death Note, promising nudity, swearing, and “a ton of violence.”  Read More »

‘Death Note’ Adds Willem Dafoe as Death God

Willem Dafoe

Justice League good guy Willem Dafoe is ready for a return to the dark side. And when he goes dark, he goes really dark. Dafoe has just joined the cast of Adam Wingard‘s Death Note in the role of Ryuk, a literal death god who sets the entire murderous plot in motion. He’ll star alongside Nat Wolff (Paper Towns), Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton), and Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys).  Read More »

Keith Stanfield

Netflix’s Death Note is jotting down another name. Straight Outta Compton and Short Term 12 actor Keith Stanfield has reportedly closed a deal to star in the manga adaptation, alongside Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys) and Nat Wolff (Paper Towns). Adam Wingard (The Guest) is directing.  Read More »

death note netflix

Yesterday, a Hollywood Reporter story revealed that Warner Bros. doesn’t want to take risks on smaller projects in the wake of Batman v Superman‘s tumultuous box office and will make fewer movies, focusing on major tentpole releases. We may already be seeing the impact of this new policy: director Adam Wingard‘s adaptation of Death Note has been dropped by the studio. Thankfully, Netflix arrived to pick it up.

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death note movie

A Hollywood adaptation of the popular manga Death Note has been in the works for some time, with Shane Black announced to direct back in 2011. Since then, Black has dropped out, You’re Next director Adam Wingard stepped in, and a cast has started to take shape. It’s happening. For real this time! Maybe. Hopefully?

Anyway, a new interview with producer Roy Lee has offered a few updates on the American adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata and fans should be happy to know that they don’t plan to tone this macabre story down.

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Margaret Qualley in The Leftovers

Adam Wingard has found another new name for his Death Note. The Leftovers star Margaret Qualley is set to join Nat Wolff in Warner Bros.’ live-action, English-language adaptation of the hit Japanese manga, about a magical notebook that kills people. (Just go with it.) Learn more about the new Death Note female lead below.  Read More »

Nat Wolff to Lead Adam Wingard’s ‘Death Note’

Nat Wolff Paper Towns

Death Note is targeting Nat Wolff. The Paper Towns star will lead Adam Wingard‘s adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series, about a notebook that brings death to anyone whose name is written in its pages. Which, okay, sounds kind of dumb when I put it that way. But trust me, it’s cooler than I’m making it sound. Read about the Nat Wolff Death Note casting after the jump.  Read More »

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Adam Wingard to Direct ‘Death Note’

Death Note

After You’re Next and The Guest, Adam Wingard has found his next creepy movie premise. He’s signed on to direct Death Note, a live-action feature based on the popular Japanese manga series. At the center of a story is a notebook that causes the death of anyone whose name is written in its pages. More on the Adam Wingard Death Note news after the jump.  Read More »