Netflix’s 2017 live-action Death Note film announced yet another cast member. Willem Dafoe is the latest addition to the cast, set to voice Ryuk, a Shinigami.
With Dafoe joining the film, production seems to be moving along quickly. After the movie switched over from Warner Bros. to Netflix, updates appear much more frequently. Previously, all that had been officially announced about it was that the film would be rated R. However, Dafoe is scheduled to finish work on DC’s Justice League before he begins work on Death Note.
Adam Wingard is directing the film. He is known for You’re Next and the recent The Woods. Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns) stars as Light, a high-school boy who discovers a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it. The film will also star Margaret Qualley, Keith Stanfield, and Shea Whigham. Death Note is one of the most popular series worldwide, spanning 108 manga issues, a well-known anime series, three live-action Japanese films and even a few video games.
Dafoe’s character Ryuk shows up as one of the most important characters in Death Note. As a Shinigami or god of death, Ryuk controls his own notebook that decides who dies. When Light discovers Ryuk’s notebook and begins to use it for himself, Ryuk appears to accompany Light and sometimes even help him in his quest to cleanse the world of evil. However, the Shinigami usually remains a neutral observer, one that can be menacing and creepy.
Personally, I think casting Dafoe as Ryuk is the best news I’ve seen so far from this Death Note adaptation. Ryuk is my favorite character from the anime, and Dafoe fits the personality perfectly.
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