Netflix recently gave us a pretty cool little teaser for their remake of Death Note, the massively popular Japanese Manga, and of course, it was met with cries of "Whitewashing!"
Granted, the people crying foul over this are the edgelords who populate the Twitters and Facebooks of the Interwebs, so we usually don't buy into their b.s., but of course every half-assed website out there has to run a "Is this a case of whitewashing?" article about it, because they'll do anything for clickbait, so now it's a pressing matter that has to be addressed!
Look, the makeup of the American population consists of around 73% white people, and around 5% Asians, so is it really something to cry foul about that Hollywood casts a white kid in one of the lead roles for this remake? The other lead, by the way, is played by Lakeith Stanfield, who happens to be black. So technically, it's white and blackwashing.
Can't we just be happy that it looks cool? Or that Willem Dafoe playing Ryuk is going to be perfect? Or that since most Americans don't watch Manga, that this excellent story will get a wider audience, and yes, it will absolutely inspire people to check out the original?
You know, I watch a ton of S.Korean, HK, Japanese, Indonesian, and otherwise Asian productions on a regular basis, and never once while watching them, or even their trailers, do I think "Why aren't there more white people in this movie?" Not ever. When I watch a movie from a particular country, I expect to see a story from that culture's perspective. I don't want it tailored to what I think is right or wrong, or to be socially acceptable according to my precious, important beliefs and feelings, I want to see what they have to say. With their voice. Using whomever they choose to to tell their story.
If Adam Wingard and the people at Netflix want to make an Americanized version of a Japanese story, I want to see what they do with it, and my only hope is that they do the source material justice. Who cares what archetype the actors fit, as long as they are good enough to do their roles justice?
If you put aside the cries of the few that are spun into a frenzy but clickbait-starved websites, then what you have here is a trailer for a remake that looks pretty good. Like most American remakes of foreign flicks, it probably wont be as good as the original, but it might just entertain us by putting its own spin on the material, and really, that's exactly what we want.
Good movies that entertain.
Check the trailer below, and see what you think.
Death Note hits Netflix on August 25th.