– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Every time the “Death Note” movie seems to lose steam, it picks it right back up. Now, I won’t be convinced that it’s actually coming out until it’s in theaters, but this may very well happen. For those unfamiliar, the upcoming movie is based on the manga of the same namefrom writer Tsugumi Ohba and artist Takeshi Obata.

For those unfamiliar, the story follows high schooler Light Yagami, a bored prodigy who finds a notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it. Seeing an opportunity, Light proceeds to create a world in his own image, killing off everyone from serial killers to rapists and thieves. However, the police doesn’t take too kindly to Light’s new brand of justice, and an internationally renowned detective named L makes it his personal mission to find out who’s responsible for these murders and take them down. From there, the story becomes a game of cat and mouse between two geniuses.

The premise is a strong one, and unlike a lot of anime or manga out there, it can easily be adapted to western sensibilities. So far, “Fantastic Four” screenwriter Jeremy Slater is set to write, and “V/H/S” director Adam Wingard set to helm. “Paper Towns” lead Nat Wolff was also pegged a while ago to take the lead in the film–presumably the equivalent of Light (though they’re probably going to change the name).

Misa Amane (left) and Margaret Qualley (right)

Misa Amane (left) and Margaret Qualley (right)

Now, according to THR, it looks like they have their female lead in actress Margaret Qualley, a relatively new actress who some may recognize from the HBO original series, “The Leftovers.” There’s no word on who she’ll be playing, but if the manga is any indication, she’ll be playing Misa Amane (again, they’ll likely change the names), a famous supermodel who gets a Death Note of her own in the second half of the series and falls head over heels in love with Light. I’d be interested to see where they take this character, as she was somewhat controversial during the manga’s run due to her shallow, dumb, and one-track portrayal. More than anything, she seemed more like a plot device than a true character. All the same, she definitely adds an extra bit of conflict to the series, and almost serves as the Harley Quinn to Light’s Joker in that she’s both crazy and dangerous.

Hopefully soon we’ll have word on who will be playing the socially awkward detective L, as this character is the one that takes the cake as the most fun and interesting one in the series. This is a project I’ve had my eye on for a while, and if there was one film that had the power to turn the tide on the “terrible anime adaptations” front, this could be it–though it’s a shame they look to be whitewashing it.

What do you think of the casting so far? Do you expect great or terriblethings from this adaptation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!


Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.