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article image‘Death Note’ teaser may have lost something in translation Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Mar 22, 2017 in Entertainment
Netflix just dropped a teaser trailer for its upcoming feature adaptation of ‘Death Note’ and it’s definitely taking a different approach to the material.
In June 2016, director Adam Wingard began principal photography on a Death Note feature film for Netflix. Less than a year after the announcement, the streaming network has released the first teaser for the movie, which appears to be set in an American high school (though it was shot in Canada and U.S.).
Based on the acclaimed Japanese manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the story follows Light Turner (Nat Wolff), a smart, broody teenager who finds a supernatural notebook “lost” by a Shinigami (grim reaper) called Ryuk (voice of Willem Dafoe). When Light discovers it holds the power to kill anyone whose name is written in its pages while imagining the victim’s face, he becomes intoxicated with this new godlike ability and begins to eliminate everyone he deems unworthy of living in his imagined utopia.
The manga was first adapted into a popular 37-episode anime series in 2006. The most significant departure for the upcoming film is that it’s been transported to Seattle. The teaser appears to contain some of the key iconography, including a bright red apple; the aged, leather-bound book; and Ryuk’s fiery glowing eyes. However, the images of cheerleaders (in spite of the smoker), longing looks and impulsive kisses suggest it runs the risk of being more teen angst-y than dark. It also waits to be seen whether the unnaturally pasty Paper Towns star can capture Light’s deranged logic. There’s sure to be another, more detailed trailer before the show’s premiere later this year, so we’ll try not to judge the 50-second snippet too harshly.
Although, based on their statement made last year, it seems producers Roy Lee and Dan Lin anticipated some backlash for appropriating the Japanese tale: “Our vision for Death Note has always been to bring this captivating story to the screen for its long-time manga fans and to introduce the world to this dark and mysterious masterpiece. The talent and diversity represented in our cast, writing, and producing teams reflect our belief in staying true to the story’s concept of moral relevance — a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries.”
More about Death note, Adam Wingard, Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff, Manga
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