‘Death Note’: New Trailer Gives First Look at Willem Dafoe’s ‘Death God’ Ryuk

The latest trailer for Netflix’s live-action “Death Note” movie was released on Thursday, giving fans of the hit manga and anime the first look (kind of) at Willem Dafoe’s Ryuk.

In the trailer, Light Turner (Nat Wolff) stumbles upon the Death Note, a journal in which he can write anyone’s name and kill them at any time and in any fashion he wants. It belonged to Ryuk, a shinigami or “death god,” voiced by Dafoe, who explains the Death Note to Light… and then watches the chaos unfold, as Light decides to take justice into his own hands by killing criminals.

“It’s not going to solve a few crimes,” he says. “It’s going to solve all crime.”

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Death Note Teaser

‘Death Note’: Netflix Releases First Teaser for Live-Action Movie

The trailer also gives anther look at Lakeith Stanfield‘s L, the genius detective who embarks on a mission to stop Light. The new footage also features Mia (Margaret Qualley), who encourages Light to use the journal.

Adam Wingard (“You’re Next,” “The Guest,” “Blair Witch”) directs the adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba’s manga series. When the first trailer was released back in March, it swiftly drew criticism for whitewashing, the practice of casting white actors in roles meant for actors of color. The Americanized version takes the story from Japan to Seattle — characters like Light Yagami and Misa Amane become Light Turner and Mia Sutton.

Producer Roy Lee responded to the criticism in an interview with BuzzFeed in April, calling the backlash “somewhat offensive.” “I can understand the criticism … if our version of ‘Death Note’ was set in Japan and [featured] characters that were Japanese-named or of Japanese ancestry,” he said. “But that’s not the case.”

“Death note” will hit Netflix on Aug. 25. Watch the trailer here or above.

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  1. Phil says:

    Seems like this would’ve worked better as a series than a movie. The story is multi-faceted and complex – any attempt to boil it down to a single feature length movie is going to disappoint fans of the original.

  2. That's What She says:

    SHINIGAMI: (Dafoe laugh)

    LIGHT: What’s so funny, mutha******??

    I hope that’s in the movie.

  3. RX says:

    Presumably there’s a reason the black guy’s face is half-covered? Surely that won’t sit well . . .

    • SM says:

      The book only works if you know someone’s name and can picture their face. Since he is the rival of the guy with the book he’s trying to hide both of those.

    • Near says:

      He doesn’t want his identity revealed, L from the original Japanese manga acted the same way.

      • EricJ says:

        Although, granted, L in the original manga/anime (also on Netflix) was a mysterious genius autistic(?)-prodigy, who solved mysteries all over the world from his computer in an expensive hotel room, and only took his personal Columbo-like cat-and-mousing of Light as the most serious intellectual pursuit of his career.
        For those mainstream noobs who don’t watch anime, that’s one thing the series is going to lose trying to turn the character into Generic Denzel Washington Cop Thriller.

    • Marie says:

      His face is covered because he’s cool like that.

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