A movie adaptation of the Japanese manga series Death Note has been in the works for a while now. Back in September of last year the movie was set up at Warner Brothers and The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns star Nat Wolff was signed on to play the lead.
Now the project has moved from Warner Bros. to Netflix, and it’s being reported that two-time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe (Shadow of the Vampire, Platoon) has joined the cast. According to the report, Dafoe will be voicing the character Ryuk, who is a Shinigami or “death god.” The Shinigami are described as extra-dimensional beings who extend their own lives by killing humans.
Wolff is still attached to star as the lead, who comes to possess Ryuk’s supernatural notebook, which allows its owner to take the life of anyone whose name and face they know. Also starring is Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys, The Leftovers), Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12, Straight Outta Compton), Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire, The Wolf of Wall Street), and Paul Nakauchi (Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, 2007 Doctor Strange animated movie).
Death Note is being directed by Adam Wingard, who’s previous credits include the V/H/S segment “Tape 56,” You’re Next, and The Guest. His latest feature, The Woods, was recently revealed to actually be a super secret Blair Witch Project sequel simply titled Blair Witch.
The movie is produced by Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs, and Masi Oka, with Doug Davison and Brian Witten executive producing.
In addition to his award worthy roles, Dafoe has also starred in titles such as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Finding Nemo, The Boondock Saints, and more. He is currently filming DC’s Justice League movie, in which he will be playing Nuidis Vulko.
Death Note is expected to be released on Netflix sometime next year.