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Death Note Movie Gets Willem Dafoe as Ryuk the Shinigami

By Brian Gallagher — August 2nd, 2016

Now that production has begun on Netflix's new thriller Death Note, one of the most important voice roles in this adaptation has been cast. Willem Dafoe has come aboard to voice Ryuk the Shinigami in this adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's iconic manga. We aren't sure when the actor will start recording his role, but the actor closed his deal while also currently filming Justice League for Warner Bros.

Mashable reports that Willem Dafoe joins a cast that also includes Nat Wolff as Light Turner, Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton, Keith Stanfield as L, Paul Nakauchi as Watari and Shea Whigham as James Turner. The story centers on high school student Light Turner, 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. In the original manga, Ryuk the Shinigami is the creature that actually created this Death Note book, and left it on Earth to see what would happen when someone discovers its powers. Ryuk was voiced by Shido Nakamurain in the 2006 Japanese anime adaptation, with Brian Drummond providing the voice for the English version of that movie.

Adam Wingard will direct from a script that has been worked on by Anthony Bagarozzi, Jeremy Slater, Chuck Mondry, Vlas Parlapanides and Charley Parlapanides. The film will be produced by Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka. Several years ago, Shane Black, and then Gus Van Sant, were attached to direct, when this manga adaptation was set up at Warner Bros.

Willem Dafoe recently lent his voice to the animated blockbuster Finding Dory, which has gone on to become the biggest movie this year at the domestic box office. He will next be seen alongside Matt Damon in The Great Wall, and in both Justice League and Aquaman as Vulko. We'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on Death Note as soon as more information is released.

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