Netflix has just released the teaser trailer to the American adaptation of the popular manga series, Death Note.
The original series, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takashi Obata, tells the story of Light Yagami, a high school student who comes into possession of a supernatural notebook from the demon Ryuk which has the power to kill anyone who’s name and face he knows. Light decides to use this new found power to rid the world of evil, and to rule the world. While Ryuk is helping him, a detective known as L is trying to stop him.
The notebook, the Death Note of the series, comes with instructions on the inside, known as “The Rules Of Death”. When used correctly, it allows anyone to commit a murder, knowing only the victim’s name and face.
Starting in 2006, an Anime series based on the manga was released, running for 37 episodes, you can find the series available on Netflix. It was also adapted into a series of live action films in Japan, Death Note, Death Note 2: The Last Name, L: Change The World, and Death Note: Light Up The World, with a three part mini-series, Death Note: New Generation, which bridged the gap between the first three films and the fourth film.
An American adaptation of the manga has been in and out of development since 2007, with ten companies at the time interested in creating a remake. Warner Brothers was set to release the film, but dropped the project before Netflix picked up the distribution rights. Not much is revealed in the teaser, not even a clear look at Ryuk, but from the silhouette, we can only guess that it’ll be similar to his manga appearance. And, of course, there are the American names in the adaptation. Light Yagami is Light Turner, Misa Amane is Mia Sutton, and Light’s father Sochiro Yagami is James Turner. Ryuk, L, and Watari are the only names not changed in the film
The official synopsis is as follows:
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 (Paper Towns) Wolff as Light Turner, Margaret (The Leftovers) Qualley as Mia Sutton , Lakeith (Get Out) Stanfield as L, Paul (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) Nakauchi as Watari, Shea (American Hustle) Whigham as James Turner, and Willem (Spider-Man) Dafoe as the voice of Ryuk . Death Note will premiere exclusively on Netflix on August 25th.
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.