Get a look at Ryuk from Netflix’s live-action Death Note adaptation. Netflix is expanding its originals, and giving a first look to fans at nerdom’s biggest event of the year: San Diego Comic-Con. The streaming service brought two original films, Bright and Death Note as well as some of their biggest series, Stranger Things, Marvel’s The Defenders, and Voltron: Legendary Defender. While there is a lot of buzz surrounding upcoming seasons of the services’ streaming series, the online giant is not without its own controversies.
Death Note, in its original form, is a manga from 2006 written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. Shortly after its release, the series was adapted into an anime that was very well received and highly praised in its native Tokyo. When Netflix announced a Death Note film, however, fans were skeptical. Amid a whitewashing controversy and a total change of setting (moving the story from Japan to the US), director Adam Wingard took to Twitter to stand firm that his film is a totally different re-imagining of Death Note and not an adaptation.
Inside Comic-con’s famous Hall H (a first appearance for Netflix), the service released another clip of the film that showcases Light (Nat Wolff) and Ryuk’s (Willem Dafoe) first meeting. The clip highlights the intention of using the shadows to hide Ryuk. Wingard’s version of the film promises to be “much darker and more exciting” than the anime fans are most familiar with.
Thanks to some notes from CB, who was at the SDCC panel, we have a bit more insight into what Wingard was thinking when trying to bring Death Note to a new audience. The director said:
“The inspiration behind this was obviously to take some of the previously existing material and take some of the over-top-ideas, like giving someone the ability to literally kill anyone, and translate it into something unique and different. Some people think we are just turning this into a horror film. Ryuk is like that, always in the shadows; but the movie is not full-on scary, but we play with the light and dark between them.”
When asked why bother to make this film when other adaptation films have done so poorly, Wingard simply believes Death Note has a great story to tell. Masi Oka, who is also in the film and was at the SDCC panel, added that the film was screened for the series creator earlier this year and he “loved it.”
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