‘Death Note’: Willem Dafoe to Become the “Death God” Ryuk

     August 2, 2016

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In perfect, spot-on casting, the twice Oscar-nominated actor Willem Dafoe will be voicing the role of a “death god” whose mortifying manuscript is the subject of the movie’s title: Death NoteAdam Wingard’s adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s manga is due out on Netflix next year and already boasts a pretty solid cast. Dafoe’s addition as the Shinigami named Ryuk brings a real sense of malice to the character, whom we have yet to see in this particular iteration.

Currently in production, Death Note stars Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars) as Light Turner, Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) as Mia Sutton, Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton) as “L,” Paul Nakauchi (Alpha and Omega) as Watari, and Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire) as Light’s father, James Turner. The film will be produced by Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs, and Masi Oka.


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Image via Shueisha

Mashable reports that Dafoe will indeed be voicing Ryuk. That’s an interesting add, and not just for Dafoe’s experience. In the anime series, which follows a brilliant student named Light who comes across the Death Note and uses it to kill people he finds deserving of death, Ryuk is an important player but acts as more of a spectator for most of the story. Ryuk’s Death Note makes its way into Light’s hands due to his boredom in the Shinigami realm; the dramatic, cat-and-mouse game that unfolds among Light, the criminals, and the detectives on the case is quite satisfying to the meddling death god. Fingers crossed that it’s as entertaining for audiences!

For more on Death Note, be sure to get caught up with our most recent coverage below:

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