Light Turner, a bright student, stumbles across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill any person whose name he writes in it. Light decides to launch a secret crusade to rid the streets of criminals. Soon, the student-turned-vigilante finds himself pursued by a famous detective known only by the alias L. Written by Warner Bros. Pictures
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.- Written by Annonymous
A student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone begins a crusade against evil in order to rule the world as a benevolent human god. Then a deadly game of cat and mouse begins when a reclusive detective begins to track down the young man, attempting to end his reign of terror once and for all.
For years now, Netflix has been steadily accumulating and acquiring more and more impressive films for itself. Like with its original TV endeavors, the streaming service has managed to acquire both critically-acclaimed hits and disappointing misfires for itself over the years. But with that being said, Netflix has never had a better-looking year for original films than 2017. With exciting new fantasy films like Okja and Bright to the satirical War Machine, the array of films set to be released by Netflix this year is both impressive and diverse. Sitting right at the top of that list too, in terms of just interest and excitement from fans, is the new American take on Death Note.
Based on the anime/manga property of the same name, the adaptation predictably Americanizes all of the locations and characters of the story, but maintains the same general outline and foundation as the beloved source material. And for those who don’t know, it follows the story of a teenage boy named Light (Nat Wolff), who stumbles upon a book that allows him to kill anyone by simply writing their name down in it. This eventually leads to him taking on a vigilante persona of his own, and working with the supernatural being that owns the book itself, Ryuk (Willem Dafoe), who is a crazy-looking kind of God of Death.
Earlier this week, the first teaser trailer for Death Note was released online by Netflix as well and was met with an understandably wide range of reactions from both longtime fans of the original property, and newcomers just hearing about it for the first time. The film’s director Adam Wingard, though, has officially released a brand new image from the new adaptation through his Twitter account, offering fans their first glimpse at the relationship between Light and L (Lakeith Stanfield): a strange but persistent detective hunting down Light’s vigilante persona, Kira, in the film.
For many diehard film buffs, one of the most alluring aspects of this new take on Death Note is that it’s being directed by Adam Wingard, who after his work on films like You’re Next, The Guest, and last year’s Blair Witch, has emerged as one of the most exciting and singular voices of his generation. The teaser trailer for Death Note, while notably brief, luckily also maintained the same ’80s, Carpenter-esque style and aesthetic that has made so many of his previous films stand out from the rest.
While there’s bound to be dissension from those who have loved the previous incarnations of Death Note (including the previous live-action versions), the talent involved in this new film alone should be enough to warrant a minimal level of excitement and interest. Whether or not it lives up to its expectations of the fans is another story altogether. But no matter what, it’s clear that Death Note will likely go down as either one of Netflix’s most buzzworthy film hits to dates or one of its most disappointing misses.