Lakeith Stanfield’s L gets his moment to shine in Netflix’s new character poster for Death Note. Despite being one of the streaming service’s biggest film titles to date as well, this particular adaptation of Death Note has been shrouded in controversy for several months now, ever since the release of the Death Note teaser trailer. With an Americanized setting and cast of actors, many longtime Death Note fans are accusing the film of being yet another case of Hollywood whitewashing a beloved anime/manga property, especially following the poor reception earlier this year to the Scarlett Johansson-led Ghost in the Shell adaptation.
Based on the beloved anime/manga property of the same name, Death Note follows Light (Nat Wolff), a high school student who comes across a supernatural book that he realizes contains dangerous powers. With the ability to kill anyone he deems unworthy of life – simply by picturing their face while writing their name into the book itself – Light eventually takes on the persona of Kira, a vigilante/serial killer who quickly grows in notoriety with each new kill. Along for the ride with Light is Ryuk (Willem Dafoe), a Shinigami or “God of Death.”
Of course, Light and Ryuk won’t be unchallenged in continuing their murder spree, and as Death Note fans everywhere are already aware, their key opposition comes in the form of L – a determined prodigy detective tasked with investigating the Kira case. And with only a little over a month left to go until Death Note is released, Lakeith Stanfield’s take on the beloved detective has received his very own character poster for the film. You can check it out for yourself down below:
L is one of the bigger mysteries in this particular take on the property, and his brief appearances in the full-length trailer for Death Note, only further made fans uncertain of his portrayal here. At the same time, though, Lakeith Stanfield has emerged over the past few years as one of the more talented up-and-coming actors of his generation, which should somewhat boost confidence in, at the very least, his performance as the character. In fact, he’s one of several very talented young attached to the film, along with Nat Wolff as Light and Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton.
Now, whether or not the talent of those involved does anything to comfort fans leading up to the film’s release next month is another story altogether. After all, the more that’s been released from Death Note, the more skeptical fans have grown of the adaptation, despite director Adam Wingard’s response to the controversy surrounding the early promotional materials. So at this point, all that’s really left to be seen is if Death Note manages to prove early naysayers wrong, or if it’ll just be the latest in a long string of misguided attempts by Hollywood to bring beloved anime and manga properties to life on the big screen.
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