Netflix’s ‘Death Note’ Remake Looks Scary…And White
It’s a manga remake. So where are all the Asians?
Now we do: Netflix released the teaser trailer today, and it looks intense and terrifying and dark AF.
Watch it here:
The new movie is based on a 15-year-old Japanese manga series of the same name that sold more than 30 million copies. The series tells the story of Light Yagami, a smart high school kid who finds a supernatural notebook that can kill anyone whose name Light writes in it. (Yep, we’ve all wanted one of these at some point.)
Light uses the book to kill criminals, hoping to cleanse the world of evil. But he gets a little carried away with his own power, and a private detective named L tries to stop him before he goes too far.
The Japanese comic, which was published between 2003 and 2006, has already spawned a couple of movies and a musical, so Netflix will be at least the fourth iteration of the story. But there’s still reason to tune in: First of all, the previous movies were low-budget. Secondly, the Netflix version is directed by Adam Wingard, who made “Blair Witch” (the 2016 remake, not the original) and a horror-thriller movie called “The Guest” in 2014 that I’ve heard was pretty good. Second, Willem Dafoe will play the death god, or shinigami, responsible for dropping the book to Earth in the first place. Not only is Willem Dafoe pretty much always awesome, he seems to have been perfectly cast:
On the positive side for the Death Note live action, I'm 99% sure Willem Dafoe will slay his role as Ryuk
Netflix cast the 23-year-old actor Nat Wolff (known for “The Fault In Our Stars” and “Palo Alto”) to play Light, and Lakeith Stanfield?—?who’s perhaps best known for “Straight Outta Compton”?—?to play L.
Adding some much-needed female talent to the roster is Margaret Qualley (who’s known for “The Nice Guys” and “The Leftovers”), who will play Mia Sutton, a young celebrity who finds herself ensnared in Light’s shenanigans. “Mia Sutton” is Netflix’s Anglicized name for the original series’ Misa Amane. (Yeah, it’s lame.)
Speaking of Anglicizing shit for no good reason, the downside to this otherwise extremely promising movie is that Netflix barely cast any Japanese actors for it. As others have already pointed out, some of the only Asian actors in the cast list for “Death Note” will play the probably not-so-important characters “Nightclub Girl #1” and “Nightclub Girl #2.”
Death Note (2017)
Great, another Hollywood feature film casting all white leads for a famous JAPANESE manga. I'm sure the fans are gonna love that. #DeathNote
Even putting race issues aside, lots of fans of the original series are pretty unenthused about Netflix’s reboot:
ok give me the names of all the people involved in the making of that death note netflix movie
which one of you fuckers wrote death note's name in a death note with the cause of death as "western adaptation
But then again, purists will be purists, and we needn’t take their opinions too seriously.
Love it or hate it, “Death Note” will be available to stream on Netflix starting Aug. 25.