So unbeknownst to me, NETFLIX is coming out with an adaption for the anime, based on the manga of the same name, DEATH NOTE. And they’ve released their first trailer, check it out below.
If you’re not familiar with DEATH NOTE, check out the rundown from 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 Netflix original film is directed by Adam Wingard (Blair Witch, You’re Next) and stars Nat Wolff (Paper Towns), Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers), Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out), Paul Nakauchi (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), Shea Whigham (American Hustle) and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man). Death Note will premiere exclusively on Netflix on August 25th.
Death Note, Netflix, Adam Wingard, Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Lakeith Stanfield), Paul Nakauchi, Shea Whigham, Willem Dafoe
Now, honestly, I have mixed emotions about this movie adaptation. I mean, I’ve said before on this blog, that I am an Asian-American, I am an advocate for more inclusion in the arts. Now, for me, I take the idea of ‘white-washing’ on a case-by-case basis.
I mean, when Hollywood was gunning to make an adaption of AKIRA, I was SUPER excited. Then you hear they were planning to localize it for a Western audience, changing things like Neo-Tokyo to New Manhattan, and casting white actors… HELL NO!
Or, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, sure, granted, this was not an adaptation of an Asian property. AND I can appreciate, though this was animated, in the live-action arena, you’d want to cast a named actor to get people in the seats. BUT, again, this was animated. The animation is star, but you cast a bunch of white actors in an Asian-themed story… but I can’t lie though, I did LOVE that movie… BUT STILL! Haha.
And of course, more recently, GHOST IN THE SHELL, and speaking of case-by-case, this was one instance I was okay with the white casting. I mean, just the art/character design in the anime and manga doesn’t scream ASIAN! Sure, you can make an argument that they have Asian names, and takes place in Japan. But I would offer that has more to do with the creator being Japanese and lives in Japan. So, admittingly, I’m good with an international cast here.
But that brings us to this adaptation of DEATH NOTE. Japanese property, for me, the art/character design in the anime and manga scream Asian characters… and though, I’m sure you could find Western concepts to compensate, includes Japanese ideas! But you cast a bunch of white actors.
That’s annoying. Now, though this is a “Netflix Original”, I don’t know if they just bought the rights, or financed this… but definitely not excited for this. I mean, if you didn’t want to cast Asians, Japan even made a live-action adaptation of DEATH NOTE, you couldn’t just dub that?
Either way, yea, not excited for this one. But if you are? It hits Netflix in August. Meanwhile, I think I might pick up the anime of Amazon.