Ryuk's A Lot More Sinister In Netflix's Death Note

Image: Youtube / Netflix

In the original Death Note anime, Ryuk was more of a comical, laissez-faire kind of character. In the latest trailer from Netflix's live-action series, the shinigami sounds an awful lot more like how a reaper of death should - grim, sinister, and tainted from head to toe with darkness.

The clip runs for almost three minutes, and showcases Ryuk (Willem Dafoe) introducing Light Turner (Nat Wolff) to the power of the Death Note. But unlike the anime and original manga, where Ryuk encourages Light to become the killer he already wants to be, Dafoe's power of suggestion comes across a lot stronger. It feels more like Ryuk is more of an active participant in the destruction of humans, rather than merely enjoying sitting on the sidelines.

The live action Death Note launches on Netflix on August 25. I remember watching one of the first live action films from Japan, with their comical CG. Those were better than expected, and if William Dafoe continues to emobdy Ryuk with the sense of evil that a Grim Reaper-like character should have, the Netflix film could be real good.


    This is going to suck. Bad.

    I cant help but feel like these actors could have been played by Asian actors.

      Unfortunately I have to agree with this, I watched the original anime series and the original live action films. This just doesn't have the same 'feel' as those.

      I agree with the first statement, but not the second.
      If you want asian characters, there are already live action Death Note adaptations. I think a sort of alt-continuity version set in the US is an interesting prospect. But Light sounds like a dumbass that has to be manipulated into stuff, when he should be the one doing the manipulation... And not looking so stressed/depressed. He should be cool, calm and collected at all times.

        Spider-man has been rebooted a handful of times. Why cant we have Asian actors speaking English in this reboot?

          Because the MCU will give us Miles Morales before it gives us Takuya Yamashiro (which is kind of a shame because imagine his mech be on the big screen).

    They've ruined the dynamic that made Death Note so good. Ryuk just wanted something amusing to happen and was never interested in goading Light into doing anything. Light was always the one that made the decisions based off of his own morality scale and never needed Ryuk to tempt him at all.

    Now it feels less like a study of human morality and more of an "I do bad things because the devil made me do it" plot. Which could be an interesting study about the nature of humans to justify their own bad choices on the supernatural but this just feels so very American Hollywood I have doubts that it will be that thoughtful.

      Yeah I really feel like they are killing such important parts around this, like purposely having Light find the Death Note rather than it just being a random coincidence also. It's taking away from so many of the points that literally made the series good. I really hope it's good but I just don't see it happening :(

    This looks awful. If this is really the first death then there isn't even the pretense that Light's not a psychopath. Decapitation? What the hell would inspire the original Light to do something like that? Why would Ryuk care how they died?

    Also Ryuk looks terrible. Not good terrible, just lame. Ryuk has such an interesting design that's both creepy and humerous, why mess with that delicate balance with glowing eyes and a seemingly deliberate attempt to frighten Light (not that he seems frightened, or to care at all - Wolff's acting does not inspire confidence).

    I'll still give it a chance, but only because of Willem Defoe.

    Willam Defoe as Ryuk is good, maybe the only good thing in this series from the trailers.

    Whilst this scene does an amazing job of showing an extremely devious Ryuk (and I really cannot think of a better voice than Willem Dafoe), it kinda destroys the reason we loved (to hate) Light. It takes away how Light himself discovered and tested the limitations of manipulating a Death Note. Heck, Ryuk didn't even know such things were possible in the original iirc.

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