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Despite the name, this new Death Note movie isn’t a Death Note movie.

In these adaptation-heavy days, there are no shortage of anime or manga that are rumored to be getting a live-action, Western-made version. Whether it’s Akira, Ghost in the Shell, or Battle Angel Alita, there are always whispers that this anime property finally has a Hollywood director attached, or that that one has an A-list actor signed, and is just waiting for a script.

Most of the time, though, these projects end up like Keanu Reeves’ Cowboy Bebop or Tim Burton’s Mai the Psychic Girl, with decades going by and still not a single live-action scene actually filmed. So it must have been a little shocking to fans of Death Note, the multimedia franchise that started out as a manga before getting anime and a Japanese-produced movie and TV drama, to suddenly find movie distributor AMG Entertainment promoting a live-action Death Note film with an all-non-Japanese cast that also has a firm Japanese release date of January 5!

▼ The Death Note Trailer

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Instead of Japan, AMG’s Death Note is set in Scotland. The single-named central character isn’t Light, but Six, although he is still in possession of a notebook with a list of names in it, all of which belong to criminals or other wicked sorts who end up dying in short order, just like the manga protagonist. And hey, if you’re adapting a piece of fiction from one medium to another, some changes are going to be made along the way.

Another thing that can lead to discrepancies? Taking a movie that has no official connection to the Death Note series that started in Japan, then slapping the title Death Note on it for its Japanese release, which is just what AMG Entertainment has done with Let Us Prey, a British-Irish horror film that was initially released way back in 2014.

▼ The Japanese poster even tries to evoke the cross-shaped iconography of the Death Note manga cover.

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On the one hand, it’s easy to see why AMG, a relatively minor distributor, would resort to some less than aboveboard tactics in trying to drum up publicity for a nearly two-year-old movie that’s coming into the Japanese market with no significant word of mouth to help it find an audience. But on the other hand, if the company is really out to wring every last drop of marketing potential from the film, we have to say we’re kind of disappointed in it for not trying to imply that this is a Death Note/Game of Thrones crossover in which the only one who can stop the killer is Liam Cunningham’s Onion Knight.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Top image: Twitter/@coco_official, Wikipedia/Tintor2 (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: YouTube/未体験ゾーンの映画たち, Twitter/@coco_official, Wikipedia/Tintor2 (edited by RocketNews24)