The First (Surprisingly Cool) Trailer for Netflix’s Live-Action “Death Note” Movie Hits The Web

By James Preston Poole

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American-made anime adaptations seem doomed to fail, but that won’t stop the studios from trying!


One of the most closely scrutinized adaptations is Netflix’s upcoming “Death Note”. The original anime, following teenager Light Yagami coming into possession of a book belonging to a “Shinigami”- or death spirit- that kills whosever name he writes down in it, has been hugely popular for years. However, the casting announcement, changing the name of the lead to Light Turner and having him played by Caucasian actor Nat Wolff, caused quite a stir, along with the “whitewashing” of several other key characters.


This looked like a disaster waiting to happen….until the trailer hit:



Wow. That looks impressive.


If you’re at work or too lazy to watch the trailer, it features a bleach blonde Nat Wolff looking deliciously edgy as he comes upon the book, followed by a montage of various alternately creepy and intriguing images.


We see glimpses of people jumping off buildings (likely the work of Light’s “Death Note”), glimpses of this film’s version of the female lead, Misa, from anime, and. very excitingly, a bit of the wonderful Keith Standfield as L, the detective on Light’s trail.


It is directed by Adam Wingard, the same filmmaker behind the outstanding “You’re Next” and “The Guest.” Even if this falls short as an adaptation, “Death Note” is starting to look like a really scary, enjoyable dark thriller.


There are some things in the trailer that give pause – i.e. an action sequence set in an amusement park – but getting a glimpse of Willem Defoe as the Shinigami Ryuk is too intriguing not to be interested.


God (or, more appropriately, the death spirits) only knows how “Death Note” will turn out, but this first trailer is very promising.


Expect several to devour this film just like Ryuk devours this apple. (Giphy)