That is the startling news circulating today.
It's unknown why Warner Bros. has decided to surrender the project, which it's held firmly in abeyance since 2009. During that time, the studio has ordered script rewrites; actors have been linked with various roles, but the rumours rarely came to fruition; while directors have come and gone, one - we're indebted to you, Shane Black - with horror stories of Warner Bros. US attempting to sanitize the Death Note story out of all comprehension.
By the end of 2015 through early 2016, it seemed that Warner Bros. finally had a format which worked for them and all concerned. Adam Wingard was directing; Nat Wolff had signed up to play Kira, with his real life girlfriend Margaret Qualley poised to become the movie's Misa Amane. There was much talk of initial photography beginning in the spring.
Hence the shock nature of the news (broken by Justin Kroll at Variety) that Warner Bros. chose now to put their Death Note film 'into turnaround'.
Opening up a bidding war which Netflix currently seems set to win. Though SFX and Lionsgate are also strongly in the running. (Anyone else think that something about a Lionsgate Death Note feels so right?)
However, there is some speculation that giving up Death Note is part of Warner Bros. previously declared cull on 'homegrown movies', in order to concentrate its resources upon extant franchises known to be successful. The monetary profit for Warner Bros - raised by the sale of its film rights to Death Note - is expected to fall into the ballpark of $40m-$50m.
Adam Wingard, Nat Wolff and Margaret Qualley are all apparently still on board, whichever company snaps the movie up.
Netflix, of course, already has some data concerning the popularity of Death Note. It recently started streaming full episodes of the anime, so can see for itself how many Western viewers are interested in this particular story. However, it's not yet game over for the other bidders. The current status for Netflix and Death Note is 'in final negotiations', which could pretty much mean anything, besides what it says on the packet.
As for fans, it's mostly looking like we will finally get our US live-action Death Note movie, whomever produces it, though it remains to be seen whether that will be available online only, or also released as a theatrical run.