entertainment

Netflix releases first trailer for its live-action American adaptation of anime 'Death Note'

16 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

Next week, the long-anticipated, much-discussed Hollywood live-action version of "Ghost in the Shell" finally makes its debut at theaters in the U.S. But that’s not the only feature-length reimagining of an internationally beloved anime/manga franchise coming this year.

In late summer, video streaming service Netflix will at long last be releasing its originally produced live-action "Death Note" movie, the latest branch of the multimedia juggernaut that began as a manga in 2003 before becoming an anime, then both live-action film and TV drama series in Japan. While Netflix has dabbled with comic adaptations before (its "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones," "Luke Cage" and "Iron Fist" series all originated as Marvel comics), and also purchased the streaming rights to 2014 anime "Knights of Sidonia," its "Death Note" is the company’s most ambitious Japanese pop culture-based endeavor so far, and it’s just released the movie’s first teaser trailer.

It’s worth noting that the preview announces, in an extremely edgy font, that this is “A Netflix original film, based on the international phenomenon.” There’s no specific mention made anywhere of "Death Note’s" anime or manga roots, nor of the franchise’s country of origin. The setting has been shifted to Seattle (or at least a city that’s at least copied the Washington State city’s Space Needle), with Light now played by non-Japanese actor Nat Wolff.

Still, the production designers seem to be trying to carry over at least some of the anime’s aesthetics, what with darkly circled eyes and a lingering shot of an apple with black feathers fluttering about a shadowy environment.

The basic premise seems to have stayed the same, too, with Light opening the mysterious Death Note and reading aloud that “The human whose name is written in this note shall die.” If nothing else, Netflix’s decision to present the phrase exactly as it appeared in the anime, clumsy English syntax and all, shows a certain respect for the source material and its pre-existing fans.

The video also gives us our first sample of veteran Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe’s vocal performance as death spirit Ryuk, who asks “Shall we begin?” in a scratchy voice that’s somehow at once both darkly menacing and oddly sociable.

Since it’s only about a minute long, the teaser doesn’t give enough information to say how closely the events of the Netflix film are going to mirror those of the original manga (if they do divert widely, it wouldn’t be the first time for a live-action adaptation of the series). "Death Note" is set to start streaming on Netflix on Aug 25.

Source: YouTube/Netflix US & Canada via IT Media

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata: Report on live-action Zelda series is incorrect -- Producer Masi Oka announces first Japanese actor in Netflix Death Note movie -- Rurouni Kenshin trailer has rocking theme, gorgeous sets, dudes trying to stab each other

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16 Comments
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What was wrong with the Japanese version?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lol! "Netflix Original"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have no problem with these remakes, as long as they stay close to the source material and acknowledge the original as inspiration! Death Note is a global phenomenon and while I lament the westernisation of it I hope that it will encourage a new audience to seek out the original manga, anime, films and TV series, so they can see what came before and how brilliant they were and still are!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looks great. As long as live action American adaptation is true to original content, no complaints. It's a good PR for Japanese Manga and it's interesting story.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Speak are language"

Irony, right?

Either way, "are language" is likely to be Spanish soon enough...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I read the movie just borrows the concept of Death Note. Makes sense to me, the book could be dropped off anywhere on earth and it will have different stories

0 ( +1 / -1 )

IMO, too many western adaptations change the locations, etc to the USA and western main characters.

Anyone seen the new life-action version of GitS and can compare it to the Anime and Manga?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They couldn't have chosen an actor better suited (visually) to the role of Ryuk!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looking forward to this. I don't have any issue with setting this in the US. After all, there have been excellent versions of Macbeth and King Lear set in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Doesn't look too bad, although I would have much preferred this as a TV series than a movie..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Siobhan Van BuurenMar. 25, 2017 - 06:37PM JST I can understand that this may borrow the concept and that the book could be dropped anywhere in the world and I agree with that, but then use new characters and a complete new story. Kira is still mentioned (a Japanese play on the word KILLER), Misa is in it, so is L and Watari. This means this is a white washed copy, this is the original story but as if it was never told in Japan ever. There was nothing wrong with keeping it in Japan if they were going to keep the story as the same original one.

And you think Netflix would/should bother with making a movie for world wide markets with Japanese actors? There's a reason Netflix doesn't advertise this as based on a cartoon. It doesn't sell. The few people who have heard of it don't want a live action versionand the ones who do, aren't worth the effort.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does this version include shinikami? Y/N.

There are japanese life-action movies already.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can understand that this may borrow the concept and that the book could be dropped anywhere in the world and I agree with that, but then use new characters and a complete new story. Kira is still mentioned (a Japanese play on the word KILLER), Misa is in it, so is L and Watari. This means this is a white washed copy, this is the original story but as if it was never told in Japan ever. There was nothing wrong with keeping it in Japan if they were going to keep the story as the same original one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This Death Note is set in "our" universe... different rules than the Japanese Death Note. This also sets up the basics for a "Japanese reboot" based on the idea that the anime was based off something that truly happened...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What was wrong with the Japanese version?

"You're in America. Speak are language!" springs to mind.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I have an issue with live action remakes of anime, even in Japanese. They don't adjust the hair colours for the actors. They're supposed to have red, blue, pink, and green, not natural colours. I remember seeing parts of Negima live action: Negi was Japanese not Welsh, biggest of all - Makie had brown hair in the live action instead of pink. I took forever to figure out who all the characters were supposed to be as they all had brown to black hair...grrr.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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