SDCC 2017: Death Note

Comic-Con 2017I’m curious to see how fans react to Death Note, the Netflix adaptation of the popular manga coming out on August 25th. Director Adam Wingard stated that while the film is faithful, it is through his own unique vision. Surprisingly, it wasn’t approached as a straight horror film, which was apparent in the clip that was shown. There’s a lot of dark humor, spread on thick by Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of Ryuk.

The panel began with a thunderous introduction by moderator Sir Terry Crews. Look, when you have Terry Crews in charge, things are going to be a blast, and his infectious enthusiasm made me excited about this film, something that before today I really had no interest in.

There was a fun countdown to the panel with an image of an apple spinning with the numbers quickly decreasing. The panel guests were Masi Oka, Lakeith Stanfield, Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Roy Lee, and Adam Wingard. There were some fun morsels of information, but overall, it seemed as if everyone was eager to exit the stage, especially Stanfield, who was downright rude, refusing to offer more than a few word answer. Why even show up? It reminded me quite a bit of the Fantastic Four panel two years ago. When asked what his favorite scene to film was, he answered, “meeting Light.” After a couple moments of silence, he added, “What? You want me to say more?”

Wolff said that upon being cast, he wanted to make his own Death Note, believing that he wouldn’t be able to really put anyone’s name in. However, once it was created, he began writing more names than anticipated, describing the whole premise as a sort of “wish fulfillment.” As grim as that is, he’s also very accurate. There’s a reason why this property is so popular.

The panel was interrupted by a voice message from Dafoe introducing a clip. In it, we see Light first being introduced to the book. Ryuk coaxes him, explaining that is a name is written in the book, they die. Outside, there’s a young woman being harassed by two bullies. After some easy convincing, Light writes the name, and next to it: “decapitation.” Ryuk says that the next part is going to be really good….and of course the clip ended at that moment.

The panel was asked what scares them the most. Wingard, without missing a beat, answered with, “the President of the United States,” which brought the house down with thunderous applause. When it settled down, Stanfield chimed in with “the Joker. Not the most recent version, but other ones, like Heath Ledger.” I don’t think he realized that David Ayer, who was waiting in the wings to present next, was the one who directed Suicide Squad. Or he may not have cared. It was difficult to tell with this guy.

In both the trailer and the scene, Ryuk is in darkness, preventing us from getting a good look at him. I’m not sure if he’ll be fully revealed, and I’m not sure I’d like it. His look is very cartoonish, which clashes with the tone of the story. Of course, I’m only basing this off of a couple moments. It could work very well in context.

We’ll find out on August 25th.


I never stand in front of the elevator doors when they open. All because of the movie The Departed.

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