L confronts Light in a brand new clip from Netflix’s Death Note. The upcoming horror movie, from Blair Witch and The Guest helmsman Adam Wingard, has made some changes from the manga and anime that inspired it – not least of these was the decision to move the action from Japan to America, which has had a knock-on effect on most of the characters.
As the film nears its release, fans have been treated to a Death Note trailer and numerous Death Note posters. These early looks at the movie have garnered some mixed responses; a number of fans of the source material have expressed disappointment at this fresh take. One fan decided to cut together a parody video, with characters from the original anime reacting to their American live-action replacements.
Now comes a clip that highlights two of the main players in the film, with Keith Stanfield’s enigmatic detective L confronting Nat Wolff’s criminal-killing protagonist Light, in a diner. Absent from the clip is Willem Dafoe’s Ryuk, the demonic death god who gives L the power to kill whomever he pleases by writing their name in a book. Light gets rather carried away with this new ability, which leads L to hunt him down for a nice polite chat.
Devoted fans of this franchise will notice that the characters in this clip are not direct copies of their manga/anime counterparts. “L isn’t the same,” Wingard has explained, while also reassuring fans that he’s “still a weirdo [who] likes candy” and sometimes “romps around with his shoes off.” But, apparently, “the escalation of his character is very different.”
However, you could argue that completely mimicking the manga or the anime is the least interesting that this Netflix Death Note movie could do. This confrontation may not play exactly like it has done before, but it’s still a tense scene, and it’s shot in a visually interesting way. The characters might have changed, but Ryuk and his Death Note are still pushing them into interesting territory.
Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the original creators of Death Note, have seen the film already. And according to producer Masi Oka, who held a special screening for the duo, they loved it. That’s clearly a positive sign, suggesting that there’s something here for long-term Death Note followers to enjoy. But only time will tell if fans embrace this version of Death Note as much as they love the original.
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