A petition to boycott Netflix's upcoming adaptation of popular Japanese Manga Death Note has gone viral, successfully hitting its goal of 10,000 signatures.
The backlash was sparked following the release of the first trailer of the film which showed white actors in the film's lead roles. The Care2 petition currently has been signed by more than 12,000 people.
Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars) is the project's lead actor which is being directed by Blair Witch director Adam Wingard. He plays Light Turner, a student who unearths a supernatural notebook that permits him to murder anybody he can identify; the character's name in the original manga is Light Yagami.
LaKeith Stanfield also stars as the private detective chasing Light, while The Leftovers actor Margaret Qualley plays the film's female lead.
Other recent projects to have ignited criticism following claims of whitewahsing are Scarlett Johansson film Ghost in the Shell and Netflix's Marvel series Iron Fist. Unlike the former, however, Death Note is a westernised version of the Manga which has relocated the action to Seattle; Ghost in the Shell remains set in Japan but has swapped out its Japanese lead for Hollywood star Johansson.
Willem Dafoe will provide the voice of death spirit Ryuk (a Shinigami), a character eerily similar in appearance to the actor.
Death Note will be released globally on Netflix on 25 August.
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