Hollywood wants anime and they want it now, dammit!
Today, Netflix released a teaser trailer for Death Note, their live-action American remake of the beloved Japanese anime and manga series. The film follows Light Turner (Nat Wolff), a high schooler who has the titular notebook fall into his lap from the grey skies of British Columbia. Said notebook has a serious supernatural secret: any name written in the book will die. With this “gift,” Light sets out to rid the world of evil and claim himself as a man-god (you know, teenager stuff). But his actions catch the attention of L (Lakeith Stanfield), a mysterious detective trying to track him down and stop his quest for death (Deathquest? Way better title, if you ask me).
Netflix’s Death Note is directed by Adam Wingard, beloved director of indie thrillers like You’re Next and The Guest but had a rough entrance into mainstream Hollywood with last year’s Blair Witch remake/sequel. Three writers are credited for the screenplay, including Charley and Vlas Parlapanides (Immortals) and Jeremy Slater (2015’s Fantastic Four and The Lazarus Effect). Joining Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns) and Stanfield (Get Out, Short Term 12) is Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man, Platoon), Shea Whigham (The Wolf of Wall Street, Kong: Skull Island), and Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys, The Leftovers).
A Death Note movie has been on Hollywood’s mind for nearly a decade, with the likes of Zac Efron, Shane Black, and Gus Van Sant previously attached to the project through Warner Bros. interest. However, the studio decided to put the movie up for sale with Netflix picking up the project in April 2016 for a reported $40-50 million. This would not be the first live-action iteration of Death Note, as it was made in its homeland of Japan back in 2006 and followed by two sequels; Death Note 2: The Last Name and Death Note: Light Up the New World.
Hollywood has been under some controversy as of late regarding the live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell and the decision to cast white actors like Scarlett Johansson in essential roles of the Japanese characters. Regardless, Hollywood is going full-speed ahead with a March 31 release date for that project and Death Note will start streaming on August 25.
What do you think of the teaser trailer and the American Death Note remake? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to keep up with The Young Folks for the latest movie trailers.