The first trailer for Netflix’s DEATH NOTE movie has finally arrived, dropping into an otherwise dull March morning to ignite the Internet’s rabid fannish discussion.
DEATH NOTE tells the tale of a gifted high school who finds a Death God’s notebook–a journal with the the power to kill whomever’s name is written in its pages. It’s murder made simple, and Light decides to use his death-dealing book vigilante-style to get evil off the streets and into the grave.
The uber-popular Japanese horror anime was inevitably going to get a Hollywood adaptation, but is the iconic property safe in Netflix’s hands? Safer, perhaps, than it would be with a more traditional studio remake, à la the forthcoming GHOST IN THE SHELL film–but from the looks of the new trailer, Netflix has brought out the big, action-packed guns to make the venture appeal to American audiences that might not be familiar with the original anime. Check it out:
Seasoned angsty teen Nat Wolff stars as angsty teen with a god-complex Light Turner; Keith Stanfield plays his rival, genius detective L, with Margaret Qualley in the role of L’s faithful follower/love interest Mia (in the anime, Misa). The film’s setting has been transported from Japan to Seattle–so in typical Hollywood fashion, that means the cast is predominantly white.
Fans, needless to say, are not pleased. Sure, in a Seattle-set film, an entirely Japanese cast isn’t realistic–and it’s not like the cast in completely white; but would have killed them to cast an Asian-American actor to play Light?
What might enrage fans even more, however, is the almost certainly extensive chopping and condensing of their favorite parts of the anime–this is just a 2 hour movie after all, not a series, and the live-action Japanese adaptations spread out their plots over several sequels.
DEATH NOTE will be released for streaming on Netflix on August 25.