Netflix has dropped the teaser trailer for the upcoming horror film, “Death Note”, based on the popular Japanese manga series. There’s just one problem: the Asian-based story features zero Asian actors or characters.
After Netflix faced backlash over the casting of a white male actor in the Marvel series “Iron Fist”, the new teaser for “Death Note” has unleashed a similar online backlash as social media users once again sound-off on the lack of Asian characters in the new film.
In Netflix’s movie, the setting has been moved from Japan to Seattle, replacing Asian characters with American ones. The trailer comes a day after “Iron Fist” co-creator lashed out at people’s “righteous indignation” over the show’s casting, stating, “Don’t these people have something better to do than to worry about the fact that ‘Iron Fist’ isn’t Oriental, or whatever word?”
Twitter was quick to react to the controversy after the “Death Note” trailer was released on Wednesday.
But it’s not just Netflix that is dealing with backlash.
The “Death Note” and “Iron Fist” outcry is just the latest in the conversation over Hollywood’s whitewashing of Asian characters and stories. Earlier this year, Matt Damon came under fire for his China-set movie “The Great Wall” while Scarlett Johansson has faced criticism for taking the lead in “The Ghost In The Shell”, a sci-fi movie based on Asian characters, set in Japan.
In Netflix’s “Death Note”, American actor Nat Wolff stars as a young man who discovers a supernatural notebook that promises to kill anyone whose name he writes on its pages. With the power of his newfound notebook, he develops a God-like complex as he sets out to eliminate those who he deems “unworthy of life.”
Directed by Adam Wingard, the director behind the scary horror flicks “You’re Next” and “The Guest”, “Death Note” promises an intriguing story, full of potential scares.
In the new teaser, viewers also get a brief glimpse of the demon Ryuk, voiced by Willem Dafoe.
Hugely popular in Japan, the “Death Note” manga series has spawned live-action movies and a television show, an anime series, a stage musical, video games and soundtracks, achieving cult status in its native country.
Viewers will have to wait until August 25 to get their scare on when “Death Note” drops on the streaming platform.