‘Death Note’, the US adaptation of the Japanese manga-turned-anime-turned-movie, doesn’t arrive until August 25, but Netflix has just released the first trailer which gives a glimpse to what to expect.  This version of ‘Death Note’ is set in Seattle with the great Willem Dafoe as the voice of Ryuk, a Shinigami or spirit of death and guardian of the titular ‘Death Note’, a magical journal found by the main character Light Turner played by Nat Wolff (‘The Fault In Our Stars’, ‘Paper Towns’).  The premise revolves around the fact that if anyone’s name is written in the book… they die.  At least in the original, Light uses the book to begin eliminating evil,which draws the attention of L, a detective tasked with tracking him down and stopping him.  Lakeith Stanfield plays L in this version.

‘Death Note’ began as a serialized manga in 2003 and was a sensation in its native Japan, where it was adapted into an anime, multiple video games and three live action films.

When the US adaptation was announced, it caused an uproar over charges of white washing.  The film was originally intended as a theatrical release, but possibly due to the outcry, the budget was reduced and it was switched to a Netflix original.  (Ironically, while the new live action film will be a Netflix-only release, the original anime is available to stream on competitor Hulu.)

‘Death Note’ follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.

‘Death Note’ is directed by Adam Wingard (‘Blair Witch’, ‘V/H/S’ 1 & 2).  In addition to Wolff, Stanfield and the voice of Dafoe, the film also stars Shea Whigham, Margaret Qualley, Masi Oka, Michael Shamus Wiles and Matthew Kevin Anderson.

The film will be available on August 25, 2017.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter