death note trailer

After making terrific horror movies like You’re Next and The Guest, director Adam Wingard was supposed to break out in a big way last year with the very fun Blair Witch, a film that didn’t manage to find its feet at the box office. However, it looks like that big breaking-out just got delayed to 2017, because the trailer for his new Netflix movie, Death Note, has arrived and it looks like something that will turn a lot of heads.

Based on the manga by writer Tsugumi Ohba and artist Takeshi Obata, Death Note is built around a terrific premise. A young man (played here by Nat Wolff) discovers a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name he writes within its pages. Naturally, he sets out to kill “those he deems unworthy of life,” which is not an especially kind or comforting collection of words. Also on hand: a menacing spirit named Ryuk who’s voiced by the great Willem Dafoe (whose voice often sounds demonic when he’s not playing CGI monstrosities). Also on hand: Shea Whigham and there are few character actors I’d rather watch these days than Shea Whigham.

The trailer was initially revealed on Netflix’s Twitter account, but you can watch it in the YouTube embed below.

Death Note is hugely popular in Japan, where the manga has inspired an anime series, live-action movies, a live-action television show, video games, soundtracks, and even a stage musical. While it has a cult following elsewhere, this film will be many viewers’ first exposure to this world and these characters. Heck, it will also be many viewers’ first exposure to Wingard, a filmmaker who deserves a bigger following.

There’s not too much to go on in this trailer, which is very much a teaser. The basic premise is laid-out, there’s all kinds of apocalyptic imagery, and we get a very quick look at Ryuk. It’s all very intriguing and like David Ayer’s upcoming Bright, it looks like Netflix is working with a true Hollywood-sized budget here.

Death Note is set to arrive on Netflix on August 25, 2017. Like most other Netflix original movies, it will not see a theatrical release, for better or worse. Here’s the official synopsis:

Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.

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