It’s taken almost a decade for an English-language, live-action adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s acclaimed manga series Death Note to make it to the screen, but Netflix has finally released the first look at the upcoming film.
In the new teaser trailer for Death Note, we’re shown the titular book that holds the power of life and death dropped into the hands of an unsuspecting high-school student played by Nat Wolff (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars). The trailer then shifts to a montage of scenes from the movie depicting the cat-and-mouse game that ensues once bodies start piling up, and closes with a scene teasing the supernatural entity at the heart of all the chaos.
Directed by You’re Next and The Guest filmmaker Adam Wingard, Death Note casts Wolff as Light Turner, a high school student who comes across a mysterious notebook that gives him the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it.
In the original manga and anime series, Light soon discovers that the book is the property of Ryuk, one of the “death gods” known as “shinigami” in Japanese culture. He then embarks on a mission to rid the world of anyone he deems unworthy of life, and in doing so, attracts the attention of the authorities and an eccentric investigative genius who challenges him in a tense battle of wits to determine the fate of the world.
Along with Wolff, the cast features The Boondock Saints and Spider-Man actor Willem Dafoe as the voice of Ryuk, as well Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys) as Mia Sutton, Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton) as the enigmatic “L,” Paul Nakauchi (Alpha and Omega) as Watari, and Shea Whigham (Agent Carter) as James Turner.
The Death Note manga series sold more than 30 million copies as of 2015, and was adapted into an acclaimed 37-episode anime series, as well as a trilogy of Japanese-language, live-action movies that had brief theatrical releases in North America. The series has also been adapted into video games, novels, and a 2015 stage musical.
Wingard’s live-action Death Note movie will premiere August 25 on Netflix.
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