We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: Netflix is changing the landscape of film. If you have yet to hear our conversation on this very subject matter in the latest episode of Los Fanboys, I highly recommend you do so HERE (we talk about it during the Death Note section of the podcast). It’s also a subject that was discussed around San Diego Comic-Con time in regards to the upcoming Netflix original David Ayer film, Bright.
Both Death Note and Bright are films that would not have happened without Netflix. They are far too risky and far too genre-specific for normal studios to have been okay going forward with — especially since both would sport R ratings. In fact, in Death Note’s case, it was a production that had been set up at Warner Bros., but they ultimately passed on the script. Luckily for the production, Netflix was willing to give it a shot.
LRM had a chance to speak with Death Note producer Masi Oka during a recent press junket, and he went on to discuss how key Netflix was in all this.
“Netflix came in and saved the day. Warners was not going to make it anymore, and Netflix said, ‘You know what? We love it.’ We’re actually very grateful, because this movie actually wouldn’t have been made at any other studio because of the content. Because [director] Adam [Wingard] wanted to push the envelope. There’s a lot of gore, and that gore is not gratuitous. I think it’s really important to the storytelling to let people know that these are life or deaths takes. It was important to push the envelope. And because of Netflix and how they allowed us to have creative freedom, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have been able to push that creative envelope and put Adam’s vision on screen.”
Admittedly, Death Note is a property where you can get away with a PG-13 rating. The manga itself was never gory in nature, nor did it have needless sex or language. Some may see this as the adaptation as being unfaithful, but when you’re working with a property that has had several film adaptations, an anime, several novels, and a couple of TV dramas, I think you’re allowed to change things up a bit.
The fact that Netflix was willing to go all out and genre-specific with this take on the film really is encouraging for the future of cinema. In a world where the big screen is getting crowded with samey blockbusters, the fact that we may be finding an outlet for more divisive, bold movies is an amazing thought. Those who are crying out for more original and unique films are finally able to see these movies, and while they may not hit the big screens (at least in most cities), it’s important that these movies are actually out there.
Death Note hits Netflix tomorrow!
What do you think? Are you happy to see films like Death Note getting made on the small screen? Let us know your thoughts down below!