Death Note started as a manga story about a popular teenager who mysteriously receives a powerful book. If he writes someone’s name in the Death Note, they die. You can even write HOW the person is supposed to die, though if you neglect to be specific, they’ll simply die of a heart attack. Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) has agreed to translate the classic story for an American audience, shifting the action to Seattle and giving it a Western feel — Western civilization, not the Western genre. He has cast Nat Wolff (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars) as the main character, Light, who receives the book from a menacing demon Ryuk (played by Willem Dafoe). And it’s that haunting creature we get a quick glimpse of in the last frames of the trailer.
But there’s a second component to Death Note. As Light begins to explore the limits of his new power, he adopts a serial killer’s name — Kira — and therefore attracts the attentions of the police force. A super detective known only as L (Keith Stanfield) protects his identity so that Light can’t write his name in the Death Note. The movie eventually becomes a battle of wits between the detective and the high schooler, and while it is brief, I think we got our first look at L in the trailer, too.
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