Never mind that actor Lakeith Stanfield is playing socially awkward, yet intellectually sturdy and agile L, you needn’t look long on Twitter to find people complaining about Adam Wingard’s treatment of the hit manga and anime property, Death Note, which now has a release date scored for August 25 on Netflix.
What if you had the power to decide who lives and who dies? We suggest you obey the rules.
Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, 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.
The concerns being, obviously, that most of the casting here is Caucasian, which I could care less about at this juncture. “Light” is hardly a Japanese name and there’s no rule stating the narrative about a mythical book from the afterlife that helps its owner kill people according to its intricate rules isn’t something that filmmakers can expand on for their own visions.
And not for nothing here either as the production value looks terrific so far as I would expect from the man who brought us You’re Next (2011) and The Guest (2014). With actor Nat Wolff (Paper Towns), as far as I’m concerned, he seems fitting for the role of an astute, albeit reclusive high school student who takes playing God to a whole new level.
I’ve written about Death Note before and in the wake of the live-action trilogy from directors Kaneko Shunsuke and Sato Shinsuke with the most recent being Death Note: Light Up the New World (2016), I can already tell I’m gonna HATE Wolff’s character already as anyone should in my view. And I’m going to hate him whether he’s white, Japanese or every color under the sun, because the story here is just that damn compelling.
Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers), Paul Nakauchi (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) and Shea Whigham (American Hustle) and with none other than actor Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) providing the voice we hear of the albeit bored, apple-loving, demonic advisor, Ryuk, to our lead character’s self-justified murderous rampage…
Now, I reckon this film won’t sit well with everyone this week for the reasons stated above, but I also recognize that it comes in the wake of the unnecessary backlash over Iron Fist. You’re more than welcome to read my thoughts on that by clicking here.
In the meantime, whaddaysay we get back on track and check out the teaser below for Death Note, and try not to have a complete and total meltdown.