"The name and the face is all you have to have." This is Death Note (2017). This American version of the Japanese fantasy horror thriller franchise of the same name created by Tsugumi Ohba and by Takeshi Obata. The film is directed by Adam Wingard, and written by Charles Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides and Jeremy Slater. 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.
In April 2009, Variety reported that Warner Bros., the distributors for the original Japanese live-action films, had acquired the rights for an American remake, with Charley and Vlas Parlapanides as screenwriters, and Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Dan Lin, and Brian Witten as producers. In 2009, Zac Efron was rumoured to play the lead role until he shot down these rumours. In January 2011, it was announced that Shane Black was hired to direct the film, with the script being re-written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. In July 2014, Gus Van Sant was rumoured to replace Black as the film's new director. In April 2015, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Adam Wingard would direct the film, that Lin, Lee, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka would produce. The producers have stated the film will receive an R rating. In April 2016, TheWrap reported that Warner Bros. put the film into turnaround but allowed Wingard to take the project elsewhere. Within 48 hours, Wingard was reportedly approached by nearly every major film studio. In the same month, it was confirmed that Netflix had bought the film from Warner Bros. with a budget of $40–50 million and a recent draft of the script being written by Jeremy Slater. Production officially began in British Columbia in June 2016. By August 2016, the film's cast was rounded out with Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Keith Stanfield, Paul Nakauchi, Shea Whigham and Willem Dafoe. The casting announcements, like all other Hollywood productions based on Japanese properties, proved to be controversial. In response, producers Roy Lee and Dan Lin stated that "Our vision for Death Note has always been to...introduce the world to this dark and mysterious masterpiece. The talent and diversity represented in our cast, writing, and producing teams reflect our belief in staying true to the story’s concept of moral relevance — a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries."
The film stars Wolff, Stanfield, Qualley, Whigham, Nakauchi, and Dafoe. The cast gave confident performances despite the lack of characterization that made their characters appealing in the first place. The only performance that stood out was one other than from Mr. Dafoe himself. He embodied the role of Ryuk perfectly.
Simon says Death Note (2017) receives: