Adam Wingard, director of Netflix's live-action Death Note adaptation, posted a behind the scenes photo of lead Nat Wolff (Light Turner) sharing a hug with Jason Liles (Ryuk), the 6'9" actor who played the demonic death god (actor Willem Dafoe provided his voice and facial motion capture).
Death Note behind the scenes. pic.twitter.com/nxEXPisg9z— Adam Wingard (@AdamWingard) August 25, 2017
The movie adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's hit manga was subsequently skewered on Twitter, with a cacophony of voices sharing their displeasure towards the American translation.
Twitter user juliossoul replied to Wingard's post, telling the You're Next and Blair Witch filmmaker he made "one of the worst films since Dragonball Evolution," the 2009 live-action adaptation of the Dragon Ball manga. (Both movies faced whitewashing controversies and are "rotten" on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.)
"The whole movie should have stayed behind the scenes," quipped Artful Dodger. "This is hands down the sh—ttiest [interpretation] of an anime I've ever seen," said FurriousLynx. "Thanks for ruining an amazing anime show with an awful adaptation of the story," commented Carlos Ybarra.
Of course, not all replies were negative: the thread had its fair share of users praising Wingard and his movie. Users on Reddit were able to speak more in-depth on what disappointed them most about the Death Note movie, coming to the general summation that Death Note suffers from shoddy characterization, poor acting, and a forced romantic angle, making for a poor adaptation of the fan-favorite manga and anime.
Wingard seemed to tease a possible sequel earlier this week, writing he "had a great call with Netflix about the weekend that made my day." The comment comes after Wingard shared he pitched the movie as a trilogy rather than a standalone. “We kept it open as a sequel," Wingard explained of the Death Note ending. "When I went to Netflix initially, I pitched it as at least a two-film series, maybe three, knowing this was the origin story. We definitely designed the film so it plays a closed loop."
Death Note is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.
What if you had the power to decide who lives and who dies? We suggest you obey the rules. 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.