Pin It
Death Note

Japanese manga Death Note’s live-action remake trailer lands

The iconic horror TV series is being adapted and dropped on Netflix in August, but has already faced a similar backlash to Ghost in the Shell for whitewashing

Imagine have the power to kill someone just by writing their name in a weird little notebook. If that thought sounds in any way intriguing, you need to take a peek at this. Netflix’s live-action adaption of the iconic horror manga Death Note is set to hit our small screens in August. Though there have already been several remakes in Japan (plus a musicial), this is the first American version, by Blair Witch director Adam Wingard.  

The original Japanese project by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba starts with Light, a high school student who finds a notebook that gives the owner to power to kill anyone whose name they write inside. He embarks on a journey of moral decay, descending into a power-mad killing spree. The genius detective L and the police force attempt to track him down and put a stop to his horrific murders. Wingard’s adaption transplants the story from Tokyo to Seattle, with Nat Wolff as Light Turner, Keith Stanfield as L (fresh from this year’s smash horror hit Get Out), and Willem Dafoe as the shinigami Ryuk (a death god and the keeper of the supernatural notebook).

“Shall we begin,” says Dafoe in a gravelly, sinister voice off-camera to Light. Footage in the trailer doesn’t show too much action, but confirms it’s following the original premise and sets a dark, moody tone.

The film – which Netflix dropped between $40-50 million on – has already been the subject of controversy. Much like the incoming anime live-action reboot Ghost in the Shell, it’s been criticised for whitewashing the majority of its main characters (Misa Amane's name has been changed to the western-sounding Mia Sutton, and Light Yagami to Light Turner).

Death Note comes to Netflix on August 25.