Willem Dafoe Plays Apple-Loving Shinigami in New ‘Death Note’ Trailer (Video)

New trailer for Netflix’s adaptation of the classic manga series arrives amid whitewashing accusations

Netflix released a new trailer Thursday for “Death Note,” the upcoming Americanized adaptation of the smash hit thriller manga series directed by Adam Wingard.

The trailer features Light Turner (Nat Wolff), a high school student yearning to punish wrongdoers who gets his wish in the darkest way possible when he stumbles upon an occult notebook called the Death Note. Not long after, he gets a visit from the notebook’s owner, a Japanese death god — or shinigami — named Ryuk (Willem Dafoe), who informs him that by picking it up, Light now owns the notebook for however long he likes and can use it to kill anyone in the world by writing their name in it.

With the encouragement of his friend Mia (Margaret Qualley), Light uses the Death Note to kill criminals worldwide, earning the nickname in the media of “Kira.” But the murders soon attract the attention of the mysterious detective L (“Get Out”/”Atlanta” star LaKeith Stanfield), who risks his life to capture Kira.

Since the announcement of Wolff’s casting, the adaptation has been criticized for whitewashing the manga’s Japanese characters. Light Turner, for example, is known as Light Yagami in the manga, while his love interest, Mia, is known as Misa Amane. The only Asian actors currently known to be in the film are Paul Nakauchi, who plays L’s servant, Watari, and “Hawaii Five-O” star Masi Oka, who appears in an undisclosed role and is also one of the film’s producers.

According to Collider, producers Roy Lee and Dan Lin responded to the criticism by saying that “The talent and diversity represented in our cast, writing, and producing teams reflect our belief in staying true to the story’s concept of moral relevance — a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries.”

“Death Note” will be released on Netflix Aug. 25.

Watch the new trailer above.

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