In early iterations of the live action "Death Note" (I forget which) but a certain studios wanted Light's story to be more of revenge than him wanting to become "God Of The New World" as Light says. In this adaptation it looks as if Light Turner (as he's called here) is more or less fueled by revenge but also personal struggles. This Light from the trailers appears to be more noble in wanting to stand up to bullies (Light in the anime was a total douche, although he was admittedly less of a douche when he didn't have the Death Note but the fact that he used it when he wasn't a douche proves that he was always a douche, but I digress) the point is Light Turner appears to be more or less Mikami in terms of standing up to bullies and fighting for "justice" (his brand of it anyway). The trailer even reveals remourse with Light saying to Mia "We're not the good guys anymore!", which leads me too...
Misa's analogue Mia Sutton in this version looks like she's going to take a more active role in events and it looks like her role as the 2nd Kira (still no clue why they're using that name) is completely absent, although that remains to be seen. From the looks of the trailer, it looks as though Light & Mia are indeed in a relationship and may genuinely care about one another. It looks as though this Light may lack the academic smarts of his anime progenitor, and that's fine by me. It'll be interesting to see what draws these characters together. Will this Mia suffer from an attempted crime only to be saved by Kira? That would be accurate to the source material. All in all I'm interested to see what Mia will bring to the table and how she'll differ from Misa, it already looks like she'll be completely different as from the trailer, it looks like she's spurring him on.
Now on to the real meat and potatoes. Keith Stanfield's L...oh boy...I'm not sure what to say or not say. His mono toned voice is unique, but still I'm curious about his face mask and hood. Perhaps this L has some form of social anxiety that drives him to hide his face or a form of autism...hell, the actual L did indeed suffer from O.C.D as well as a form of autism (tell me I'm wrong...do it now! You can't.) a high functioning form of autism but autism none the less. I'm not so much pissed off as I am curious about him. Don't get me wrong, I completely get the double standard of people complaining that Light is played by a White boy and that's outrageous but any complaints about L as a Black guy immediately labels you as racist. I get that and I'm not going to feed into it. That being said, this L is a lot more public than the actual L which leads me to believe that The Shinigami Eye Deal is off the menu and that Mia is not working as a 2nd Kira.
He's interesting but the trailer notes that he's not as amused by the circumstances as the actual L was. Let's not mince words here, L didn't like Kira but he certainly liked Light a whole heck of a lot and greatly admired him and wanted to be his friend, even chose him to succeed him as L if anything happen to him. Make no mistake L enjoyed chasing Kira and would have loved catching him, NOT catching even drove him to a state of depression when he KNEW Light was Kira but couldn't prove it. So let's not kid ourselves, L & Light under different circumstances would have been the best of friends, this L looks like he's out for blood. Aside from that it looks like they're trying to incorporate L's mannerisms and style of dress. Perhaps his face mask & hood are only for public outings. The white t-shirt and jeans are fine but the sitting...while L in the anime had his (autistic) reason for sitting the way he did, this L...I don't know, it looks strange.
Also he's wearing shoes and the original L was very averse to wearing shoes, not verbally but he rarely wore shoes if at all. Also it looks like they've incorporated L's (diabetes baiting) sweet tooth as M&Ms are clearly seen in the trailer scattering during an angry phone call with Light. It looks as though the two will have some of stand off and I'm interested to see how that goes down and whether or not the knowledge of Light being Kira will be known by the time this stand off happens. It'll me interesting to see what their relationship will be in this version of "Death Note". Moving right along to...
The one thing I wasn't worried about Willem Defoe's Ryuk and HOLY COW does he look amazing. That voice, I knew he would be great for it. This Ryuk seems to be more involved than his passive anime counterpart. Ryuk in the anime was a spectator and his only reasons for aiding Light was for his own benefit (except in the case of Raye Penbar, which Ryuk informed Light he was being followed simply because it creeped him out...which raises the question on how exactly does a Shinigami get creeped out) like in the case of the Shinigami Eye Deal, which would have expanded Ryuk's life span. This Ryuk looks like he's egging Light on, much like Misa but still remaining completely withdrawn. Needless to say his design looks amazing and he indeed sounds and looking intimidating. Only Wilem Defoe can maintain intimidating, amused and down right scary in one nice bundle. If everything else in this movie falls apart he will undeniably be the bright spot.
It doesn't look like Near is in the film and Watari...the only member of the anime who (oddly enough) isn't explicitly Japanese (after all his real name is Quillsh Wammy, if that ain't English I don't know what is, also get a Japanese person named Wammy and I'll withdraw this statement) is played by a Japanese actor. Side note, I don't recall anyone complaining that in another "Death Note" film Near was played by a dark haired Japanese boy and Near is EXPLICITLY American in the anime. But I digress. The point I'm trying to make is that casting will be based on country of origin and if America is doing the film, you bet your ass they're gonna cast a majority of White actors (also Black people make up 13% of the population and less of that in Hollywood and it ain't by discrimination or holding Black people down, it's about racial interests...hence why there isn't a huge number of Asians in the NFL,but I digress)
All in all I'm curious to see where this adaptation goes. I'm not going to be one of those people who'll throw the slander that is "Dragonball Evolution" at this. Let's be fair, "Dragonball Evolution" was a doomed from the start as "Dragonball" is an EXTREMELY difficult concept to write in a bite sized feature film and make it as accurate as possible. "Dragonball Evolution" removed several key elements from the story as well as made the characters completely unrecognizable to their counterparts to the point where they might as well have been original characters. Goku was a kid in high school getting bullied, interested in girls and the servant of Piccolo and was somehow thousands of years old. This isn't anywhere NEAR as inaccurate as "Dragonball Evolution" and I won't stoop to such lows when it comes to this. I'm not going to fly off the handle, I'm going to give this a fair trial just as I would any other movie and rest assured if it sucks I'll be the first to write it down in my own Death Note.
|Light's gotta page ready on stand by...|
From the looks of things, Light will be going international, granted Light Yagami did (even going so far as to have The President of The United States comply with him). This Light looks to be tackling terrorist as well just random criminals. And despite terrorism being a hot button issue these days, I am nonetheless interested to see how the world of Death Note would handle such concepts (something the anime and manga failed to do). Having the ability to bump off several top ranking members of a terrorist cell or suspected terrorists from the comfort of your bedroom would be pretty awesome. After all how many of us have seen pictures of Osama Bin Laden & Saddam Hussein, what would Kira do to those guys?
All that being said, I'm extremely curious and cautious about what to make of this adaptation. I'm not going nuts about it and don't get me wrong, I completely understand the outrage and while I won't indulge myself in it, I won't discourage it either. Hollywood should be stepping their game up with original ideas than attempting to adapt other properties. If you want to watch a accurate American "Death Note" TV show, just watch "Hannibal", that show is pretty much "Death Note" with Hannibal playing the role of both Kira & Ryuk and Will Graham playing the role of L & Mikami, it's really an amazing show. I'll be tuning in come August 25th and I instructed my wife that we shant be watching this adaption together, lest her biases get in the way of what I'd like to be a fair and balanced review...as much of one as I can possibly give being a fan of "Death Note" myself. Like I said, if it sucks I've got my notebook ready. So in the words of Ryuk, "Shall we begin?"