On Tuesday, August 2, it was announced by several news outlets that the American actor Willem Dafoe would join the cast of Netflix’s upcoming ‘Death Note’ adaptation as the voice of Ryuk.
The first major American movie adaptation of the massively popular Japanese manga comes after a long-standing deal battle for the rights of the film, which previously belonged to Warner Bros Entertainment and had reportedly involved many high-profile Hollywood names in the project.
Netflix acquired the rights to the film just a couple of months ago back in April, with both American and Japanese investors attached to the production of the movie.
The Japanese cult hit started ran as a manga series back in late 2003, and it finished in 2006. the same year in which the first story arc of the anime show started airing in Japan. After massive success among local audiences, the series was dubbed in English and introduced to world audiences.
The protagonist uses the Death Note to fight evil with evil
“Death Note” is a thriller series that revolves around Light Yagami, a high school student, and son of a prominent police detective. The events depicted in the anime take place after Ryuk, a god of death known as a Shinigami, becomes bored on his realm and decides to entertain himself by interfering with the human world.
Ryuk, which will be voiced by William Defoe in the Netflix film, drops a notebook that has the peculiarity of killing anyone whose name is written on its pages. This notebook is the one that gives the “Death Note” franchise its name.
Light Yagami finds the Death Note and things quickly spin out of control; as the teenager starts a killing spree to rid the world of evil. In turn, his actions spawn a series of riveting events, which make for the acclaimed storytelling masterpiece that has inspired numerous adaptations in TV, print, film and other media.
“Death Note” is praised for drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese culture, namely the inclusion and original adaptation of Shinigamis into the story’s contemporary setting.
At the moment of its release, the manga and anime series reportedly inspired others stories similar in genre.
Death Note’s live-action will hit the big screen in 2017
The American streaming giant Netflix lost no time after acquiring the rights to the film earlier this year, as it immediately began searching for a cast and crew to work and star on the first western take on the avant-garde Japanese tale.
Back in its homeland, “Death Note” has already been adapted into several live-action installments in past years. Adam Wingard, an independent director who is also reportedly working on the American remake of the Korean 2010 film “I Saw the Devil”, is going to direct the movie.
Nat Wolff, who starred in last year’s film adaptation of John Green’s novel “Paper Towns” alongside Cara Delevigne, will play the role of Light Turner.
Light’s nemesis “L”, a mysterious agent renowned for his deductive skills, will be played by Keith Stanfield of “Straight Outta Compton” fame, a film in which he interpreted the role of rapper Snoop Dogg.
Keith Stanfield cast in #DeathNote potentially playing fan favourite L (via @Variety) pic.twitter.com/ku1qyyV4VW
— ComiConverse (@ComiConverse) June 12, 2016
Willem Defoe joins the cast in a perfect role for the former “Spider-Man” villain, as it fits the profile of various roles that he has played in past movies.
“Death Note” recently began shooting in Canada, and it will hit the theaters in 2017. The release of the film will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the anime adaptation.