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Fans got a closer look at the origins of Death Note Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con, and were reassured the film would break the curse of Manga-to-film adaptations.
Death Note follows Light Turner, played by Nat Wolff, who is given a journal that allows him to kill anyone he wants by writing their name inside. The cast and director brought a tantalizing new scene to Hall H, showing off the first time Light meets the supernatural creature Ryuk (Willem Dafoe).
“For us, it was an opportunity to take something with a great premise and to breath new life into it,” said director Adam Wingard of the original Manga. “In a lot of ways [Death Note] is the ultimate genre mash-up.”
He added: “The fact that there hasn’t been a satisfying Manga adaptation made in the U.S. is why we wanted to do it.”
In the clip that screened, Light is goaded into writing down the name of a young man who is attacking a young woman at his school.
Not addressed at the panel was the whitewashing concerns that were voiced when Death Note was announced. The movie drew criticism when the story was moved from Japan to the U.S. and was cast with a majority of white actors with Americanized character names.
Producer Roy Lee pointed to his experience in adapting Asian properties for American audiences like The Grudge.
Producer Masi Oka added that the production made sure to consult with the Death Note creators.
“We showed it to them at a screening in Japan and they said they loved it,” he said.
Death Note hits the streamer in August 25. Lakeith Stanfield and Margaret Qualley also star in the movie.
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