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Death Note Poster Reveals Willem Dafoe's Ryuk the Shinigami

By Kevin Burwick — June 27th, 2017

The wait is almost over for Netflix's live-action adaptation of Death Note and today we get a first look at what Willem Dafoe looks like as Ryuk the Shinigami on the new poster promoting the upcoming movie. The Japanese manga series was written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It has sold well over 30 million copies worldwide as well as winning numerous awards and gaining a huge cult following. So to say that the upcoming Netflix movie is anticipated would be a complete understatement.

Death Note director Adam Wingard has taken to social media to share the new poster and it looks just as awesome. It features our first look at William Dafoe as Ryuk the Shinigami, the Japanese spirit who ushers people into their deaths. The poster is absolutely in tune with Obata's original illustrations with a bit of a twist, but long time fans should be pretty excited by the look of Ryuk. Wingard has assured fans that the movie will be every bit as graphic as his previous horror movies in addition to bringing the adult themes from the manga series to life.

Adam Wingard has also talked about trying to get Death Note to be gritty with a "lived in" look, straying away from the overt traditional Anime style of previous adaptations. He was influence by director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, which had quite an impact on Death Note, specifically with the more realistic tone. Wingard has stated in the past that Death Note "is going to be my most insane movie yet. It makes The Guest look conventional." If half of what the director is claiming is true, we're all in for a major treat with his adaptation. There was a brief controversy surrounding early casting when many fans and critics accused the project of "white washing" the cast, but the producers issued a statement that debunked the claim, stating, "the talent... reflect our belief in staying true to the story's concept of moral relevance, a universal theme that knows no racial boundaries."

The basic plot outlines a young man, Light, who comes to possess a supernatural notebook, the Death Note, that grants him the power to kill any person just by writing their name down within the pages of the notebook while thinking of their face. He then decided to use the Death Note to track and kill criminals in an effort to change the world. An enigmatic detective soon finds out and attempts to track him down to stop him from his killing spree. Ryuk the Shinigami once owned the book, but he discarded it after becoming bored with it, which leads to Light finding the Death Note.

It was announced in August of 2015 that Adam Wingard was set to direct Death Note and production began shortly there after with Netflix buying the rights in April of 2016. And now the wait is almost over as Death Note is all set to premiere on August 25th, 2017 exclusively on Netflix. Make sure to check out the teaser trailer released earlier this year and the new poster art featuring Willem Dafoe as Ryuk the Shinigami below.

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