Light Yagami and Ryuk check out the newest trailer for Netflix’s original feature film Death Note. The film, which is based on Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s famous Japanese manga, is directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, Blair Witch) and stars Nat Wolff (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars) as Light Turner, Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys, The Leftovers) as Mia Sutton, Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton, Dope, Short Term 12) as “L,” and Willem Dafoe as Ryuk.
The story follows Light, a typical high school student, who comes in possession of the Death Note, a supernatural notebook that allows its owner to kill anyone by writing their name into it while picturing their face. The book’s original owner, a Shinigami (aka God of Death) named Ryuk, discarded the book out of boredom, and once Light acquires it, the supernatural being reveals its creepy self only to its new owner and acts as a guide of sorts. At first, Light is eager to use the book to rid the world of evil, but as they say: power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
A good number of fans of the manga and anime series haven’t embraced Wingard’s Americanized take on the property, voicing displeasure with its cast and its apparently safe approach to Light -- who doesn’t appear to be the truly villainous protagonist that he should be.
Tapping into those concerns, YouTuber DrMachakil – who you may know for his 'The Avengers React to Justice League Trailer' and 'Tom Cruise Falls Into Other Movies' videos – has edited footage so that it appears that Light Yagami and Ryuk from the original anime series are viewing the trailer for the Netflix film for the very first time. And while Ryuk appears delighted and entertained, for the most part, Light has a very negative reaction to it and even adds a new inscription to his notebook.
Neither Wingard nor Netflix promised a direct adaptation of Death Note. In fact, Wingard has been forthright about making changes to its characters to fit its Seattle, Washington setting. He compared his approach to the one Martin Scorsese took with the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs for his 2006 Oscar-winning film, The Departed. For now, the reaction to the first trailer appears to be mixed, but time will tell whether or not Netflix and Wingard have a worthwhile adaptation on their hands or another troubled attempt to bring anime into American live-action.
- Death Note (2017) release date: Aug 25, 2017