Fans are not happy that the live-action adaptation of popular manga/anime, Death Note, is getting an Americanized adaptation with Netflix. However, producer Masi Oka has revealed that they already gained the approval of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata ahead of the movie’s release next month.
The Death Note Creators’ Reaction To The Movie
Much like other Hollywood adaptations of popular manga and anime titles, Netflix’s Death Note had received criticism from the audience way before the project got released. One of the issues that has plagued the upcoming movie is the casting of a white man, Natt Wolff, in the lead role. Originally, the manga and anime series have a Japanese student at the center of the action.
The live-action movie also changed a few major details in order to make it more appealing for the Western audience. Instead of a Japanese setting, the story took place in the U.S. Fans also noticed that the major characters, except for Ryuk, were drastically changed and are almost unrecognizable.
Like its predecessors, Death Note will likely face an uphill battle when it gets released later this year. However, while a lot of fans are not happy with the live-action movie, Wingard and Netflix already has the approval of the original manga’s creators.
At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, Oka and the cast of the adaptation answered a few questions regarding the amount of criticism they have endured in the past few months. The producer argued that Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata have watched the movie, and loved it.
“The greatest moment for me was going to Japan and showing the film to [creators Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata], and we had a private screening for them,” the movie producer recounted (via LRM). “And when they came out and said, ‘Thank you,’ and ‘We love the film,’ it really just brought a tear to my eye, because I’m an otaku and a geek just like everyone.”
He also admitted that he, too, was a fan of Death Note that is why the positive response from the manga creators was so important and emotional to him. “I grew up on this, so having the senseis be proud of our films makes me proud,” he said, “and hopefully in turn will make the fans proud of the film as well.”
The criticism is not exactly unwarranted. Of course, fans are apprehensive because Hollywood has repeatedly attempted to adapt a popular manga or anime that end up disappointing the fan base. Case in point, this year’s Ghost in the Shell which ended its theatrical run with just $170 million (from a reported $110 million production budget).
Death Note Reviews
The movie still has a few weeks before it lands on Netflix, but the streaming service has already held a public screening at SDCC last weekend. That said, reviews have started trickling in and, from the looks of it, it was not as bad as some people hope it would be.
While the consensus has so far been mixed, Wingard’s take on Death Note was no Dragonball Evolution. GameSpot said the movie was far from an exact adaptation, but that is not exactly a bad thing. Meanwhile, JoBlo said that while it was not a terrible movie, it was “frequently an awkward one.”
IGN thought that lead actors, Wolff and Lakeith Stanfield (L), gave weak performances. Majority of the reviews, however, agree that casting Willem Dafoe as Ryuk was the best decision that the people behind the movie have made.
Netflix’s live-action Death Note movie currently has a 47% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie also stars Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton, Shea Whigham as James Turner and Michael Shamus Wiles as Police Captain Russel.
Photo Source: YouTube/Netflix