Warner Bros. has seen the Light! The Light Yagami that is, and his name is none other than Nat Wolff. According to Variety, the Paper Towns star is reportedly in final negotiations for the lead in Adam Wingard’s adaptation of Death Note.
For those who don’t know, Death Note is a wildly popular Japanese anime and manga series that follows a student named Light Yagami who discovers a notebook with a terrible and mysterious power: anyone whose name he writes in its pages will die. When Light begins playing judge, jury, and executioner, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues as he is tracked by a brilliant but reclusive young detective.
Wolff will play the Light Yagami character, although his name is almost certainly going the change because nothing about Nat Wolff says, “Hi, my name is Light Yagami.” In fact, the report goes so far as to specify that the part is currently unnamed. After starring in John Green’s Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars, Wolff was in contention to play Peter Parker in Sony and Marvel’s rebooted Spider-Man. It seems that though he wasn’t right for Spider-Man, he has the proper amount of teen angst and just the right amount of crazy to tackle the role of Light. Whether or not he can pull off the wild, flailing gravitas required for swimming lessons is another matter entirely.
Death Note fans may be surprised to hear that this long-gestating project is picking up steam, especially after director Shane Black departed the project. Currently, the film is being produced by Masi Oka, Roy Lee, Dan Lin, and Jason Hoffs, with a script by Fantastic Four scribe Jeremy Slater. While the screenwriter’s most recent credit may not fill you with confidence, Adam Wingard has a reputation for putting out horror films with unique and unexpected twists, such as The Guest and You’re Next. Given that Death Note has already been adapted for 3 separate live-action films, a TV drama, and TV movies, it’ll take someone with Wingard’s skillset to make it stand out. Now that he has his megalomaniacal, murderous lead, the rest of the project can begin to take shape before production commences next spring. Just remember to tell craft services to stock plenty of apples.
What do you think of this casting? What would you like to see from a live-action Death Note adaptation? Let us know in the comments below.
Can anime adaptations succeed in Hollywood? I investigated once upon a time on The Dan Cave:
Image: Viz Media
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of 100 Things Avengers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).