Early last year, Netflix was working tirelessly to obtain the rights to a live-action Death Note film. The streaming giant eventually overtook their competitors and quickly began production. They had a lead in Nat Wolff and not long after cast Willem Dafoe to play the shinigami, Ryuk. On the surface, it seems like a recipe for at least marginal success… fans of the manga and the acclaimed anime can judge for themselves. Check out the first trailer below:
To be fair, it’s hard to judge a feature-length film by a one minute teaser. The trailer shows the Death Note itself and offers a sneak peek of Dafoe’s Ryuk, who sounds incredible. It appears as though, L, Light’s nemesis, also gets a bit of screen time here, played by Keith Stanfield of Atlanta and Get Out fame. Of course, claims of whitewashing will weigh on the film’s marketing cycle and eventual release. However, here’s to hoping the Adam Wingard-directed adaption is good enough to rise above such controversy.
Netflix’s synopsis of Death Note reads as follows:
What if you had the power to decide who lives and who dies?
We suggest you obey the rules. Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.
Now we are left to wonder how the entirety of Light’s arc will be fit into one movie. At least we won’t have to wait long to find out. Death Note begins streaming this summer on August 25.
Image: D.N. Dream Partners/Viz Media