Netflix Is Developing A 'Death Note' Sequel

Despite facing a critical thrashing and controversy surrounding the whitewashing of its characters, Death Note is alive and well at Netflix.

Death Note sequel is reportedly being developed by the streaming giant, taking the adaptation of the acclaimed anime and manga to even more gruesome depths. Here's all we know about Death Note 2.

It seemed like Death Note would have been dead in the water before it even premiered. Hounded by whitewashing controversies that had sunk several blockbuster films before it and based off a beloved manga series, Death Note debuted on Netflix last summer to abysmal reviews and outcry from fans of the original manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

But we all know that wouldn't stop Netflix. In fact, based on the company's reaction to outcry against 13 Reasons Why and the critical blasting of Bright, that probably only made Death Note stronger.

Perhaps it was the hate clicks. Perhaps the Adam Wingard fans came out in droves. Or perhaps people truly liked this edgy, brutal take on the series. Whatever the case, The Hollywood Reporter (via noted that Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos called the first Death Note a "sizable" success, which is apparently enough to greenlight a sequel that will be penned by Greg Russo.

Death Note follows a Seattle high school student Light (Nat Wolff) who stumbles upon a supernatural notebook that gives him the power to kill anyone by writing their name while picturing their face. The notebook comes equipped with its own god of death, Ryuk (Willem Dafoe, the only saving grace of the film), who watches with amusement as Light becomes intoxicated with the power of the notebook and uses it to change the world into a "utopia" without crime. That is, if he's not caught by his police detective father and the genius FBI profiler L (LaKeith Stanfield) first.

Wingard's American adaptation of Death Note takes some (bad) creative licenses from the original manga, deviating from the storyline quite a bit. But the fantastically campy Japanese live-action film did so as well, and went on to spawn two wildly entertaining sequels. So Death Note 2 could feasibly strike out on its own (why?) or adapt the second half of the manga series, which follows a new set of detectives on the trail of Light, or as he's known in the serial killer community, Kira.

Unfortunately, the latter half of the manga series is boring as hell, and I don't know if I trust the Death Note creative team to improve upon it when they botched the adaptation of the best part of the manga. I'm still baffled that Netflix is moving forward with this sequel at all, but as Netflix chief Reed Hastings so callously put it in response to the 13 Reasons Why backlash, "nobody has to watch it."