Netflix’s live-action Death Note and Horrendous Casting Choices


So my sister just tagged me a video posted by GameSpot on Facebook titled “Death Note – Main Cast Comparison” (see video HERE). There is no easy way to say this, but it left me horribly stunned and…

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…yeah, that expression.

As a long time fan of the manga, the anime, the japanese live-action movies and live-action jdorama, Hollywood aspiring to make their own live adaptation of Death Note is just NO! It brings back those Dragon Ball Evolution feels again. The wrong kind of feels if you have watched DBE back in 2009. It’s just so bad it’s tragic!

And do you know what really scared me the most? It was Netflix’s casting choices. I’m not going to give a detailed account of all the characters already cast in their respective roles; however, no one is going to prevent me from giving my two cents on the actors chosen to play Light Yagami and L Lawliet (most especially L).

NAT WOLFF as Light Turner

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Nat Wolff as Light Turner (Light Yagami in Japan)

Nat Wolff, well-known to have played the lead role in Paper Towns, is honestly not so bad in the acting department. Nevertheless, playing an iconic anime character as big as Light Yagami, I’m still not convinced whether he could give justice to the role. There’s just something in his appearance or body stance that just didn’t fit well with Light’s character. Here’s to hoping for those in charge of his clothes and makeup to make him look the part and hoping to see that dark side of Light in his acting.

KEITH STANFIELD as L Lawliet

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Keith Stanfield as L Lawliet

Oh God No. Seriously…. No! This is not being racist nor do I have anything against Keith Stanfield, but let’s be real here for a second. Give yourselves a moment to ask and answer this glaring question: Why would you cast a black person to play the role of one of the palest anime character in the history of anime?

L is seen for the most part of the series, in a plain white shirt and blue jeans. He lacks footwear at all times, and seems to have a certain disliking for socks. He has a plain, impassive face, with eyes that bare deep shadows beneath them. His hair is black and he wears it long and to the back, with spikes. Physically, he is slim and pale. He is around the same height as Light, standing at 5 foot 8, though he never stands straight so it would be impossible to tell for sure.

When asked about L’s ethnicity, Ohba responded saying “I think of him as a quarter Japanese, a quarter English, a quarter Russian, a quarter French or Italian, like that”.

I could clearly post a whole rant about how wrongfully L’s character was casted, but unfortunately, it is done and I have no idea how it can be undone. They should have chosen asian actors/actresses. Or better yet, they should have created a different film altogether and claim to have it inspired by the Death Note manga instead.

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Kenichi Matsuyama as “L Lawliet” in the live-action movies

Yes, Kenichi-san. I am sad too. 😦

Anyway, the Death Note film will be directed by Adam Wingard (The guest, You’re Next) and will premiere streaming in 2017.

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