Stranger Things’ Duffer Brothers Developing Live-Action Death Note Series At New Upside Down Production Company

death note manga volume five cover feature image
© Tsugumi Ohba / Takeshi Obata / Shueisha

Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer are developing a new live-action series adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note manga series. The news comes after the establishment of Upside Down Pictures — a new production company that will involve the Duffer Brothers, producer Hilary Leavitt, and Netflix. 

The new Death Note series will be a separate entry from the 2017 live-action film adaptation released on Netflix. It is reported to be an “entirely new take” on the series as a whole. 

The Duffer Brothers have said that Upside Down Pictures will be guided by the stories that have inspired them growing up. They hope to produce “stories that take place at that beautiful crossroads where the ordinary meets the extraordinary” and “where big spectacle co-exists with intimate character work, where heart wins out over cynicism.” The directing duo have previously cited Elfen Lied and Akira as influences for their work on Stranger Things

Ohba and Obata’s original Death Note manga series was first published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump from December 1, 2003 to May 15, 2006. It inspired a 37-episode anime television series from Madhouse and various live-action Japanese films and television dramas. Additionally, the series has also released numerous light novels, video games, soundtracks, and a musical. 

death note live action ryuk poster image
© Tsugumi Ohba / Takeshi Obata / Netflix

A special manga one-shot follow-up to the main series was published in Jump SQ magazine on February 3, 2020. 

Viz Media describes the Death Note anime as: 

Light Yagami is a genius high school student who is about to learn about life through a book of death. When a bored shinigami, a God of Death, named Ryuk drops a black notepad called a Death Note, Light receives power over life and death with the stroke of a pen. Determined to use this dark gift for the best, Light sets out to rid the world of evil… namely, the people he believes to be evil. Should anyone hold such power? The consequences of Light’s actions will set the world ablaze.


Source: Deadline, Netflix

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He also contributes work to the website Yatta Tachi. He enjoys watching lots of anime every season and reading from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter @thewriterSITB.
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