Just like ‘Akira’ and ‘Ghost in the Shell’ before it, ‘Death Note’ was another long-gestating project in Hollywood. After numerous attempts to get off the ground with a variety of different filmmakers, Netflix finally picked up the current iteration from director Adam Wingard. And after only a few months, the cameras are already rolling.
The streaming service announced earlier this week that principal photography has begun on Wingard’s version of ‘Death Note’ and that it will film in both Canada and the US. Based on the seminal manga by Tsugumi Obha and Takeshi Obata, the film will star ‘Paper Towns’ and ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ star Nat Wolff as Light Turner, Margaret Qualley from ‘The Leftovers’ as Mia Sutton, Keith Stanfield as L, Paul Nakauchi as Watari, and Shea Whigham as James Turner. The rated R film will follow a high school student that finds a supernatural notebook with the power to kill someone if their name is written in it. Drunk with power, the young man starts picking and choosing those he deems unworthy of life.
However, though the premise remains unchanged, longtime fans will notice that the characters’ names have been heavily westernized. This was something that many feared once casting began to be released and now rather than Light Yagami and Misa Amane, we have Light Turner and Mia Sutton. So in response to the concerns regarding ‘Death Note’ being white-washed, producers Roy Lee and Dan Lin issued the following statement:
“Our vision for ‘Death Note’ has always been to bring this captivating story to the screen for its longtime manga fans and to introduce the world to this dark and mysterious masterpiece. The talent and diversity represented in our cast, writing, and producing teams reflect our belief in staying true to the story’s concept of moral relevance — a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries.”
While there is no release date currently, we should expect to receive an announcement regarding when we’ll be able to add it to our Netflix queues within the next few months. In the mean time, what do you think about this Americanized version of ‘Death Note’? How do you feel about the changes in these characters? And wouldn’t the story’s concept of moral relevance still apply if they retained an Asian lead character since Asian Americans are totally a part of western culture too? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Source: Screen Rant