Death Note is a popular manga property that, over the past decade-plus, has spawned an anime series and three Japanese movies — the first of which, directed by Shusuke Kaneko in 2006, is downright awful, with arguably the worst CGI in the history of cinema. Thus, Netflix’s upcoming English language adaptation can only be an improvement on its predecessor — and that expectation is bolstered by the film’s latest trailer, which has now arrived ahead of its late-summer release on the streaming service.
Directed by Adam Wingard (Blair Witch, the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong), Death Note stars Nat Wolff as Light Turner, a teenager who discovers a notebook that grants an unholy supernatural power: If you write in its pages the name of a person whose face you know, they promptly die. This ability comes courtesy of Ryuk (voiced, creepily, by Willem Dafoe), a death god who becomes Nat’s spectral sidekick as he embarks on a quest — alongside his girlfriend Mia (Margaret Qualley) — to rid the world of its worst elements, all under the deity-like moniker “Kira.” Those efforts don’t go unnoticed, however, as he finds himself pitted against a computer-genius detective named L (Keith Stanfield), who’s soon hot on Nat’s trail.
More of a horror-ish cat-and-mouse game than an outright thriller, Death Note will look to kick-start an Americanized version of the franchise when it arrives exclusively on Netflix on August 25.
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