DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd Press Notes
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie.
DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd
Directed by HIDEO NAKATA
Inspired by the best-selling Japanese Comic by TSUGUMI OHBA and TAKESHI OBATA
Starring: KENICHI MATSUYAMA as “L / Ryuzaki”
2008/ Japan/ 35mm/ 1.85:1
Dolby Digital SRD/129 min.
Japanese Theatrical Release: February 9th, 2008
US Theatrical Release: April 29, 2009
©2008 L Film Partners. ©2008 L Plot Produce.
Opening at #1 in Japan, DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd is the exciting spin-off of the DEATH NOTE film series based on the best-selling supernatural action mystery manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. With 26 million copies of the original manga sold worldwide, Death Note has become an unstoppable phenomenon, and this latest, unwritten chapter of DEATH NOTE will captivate all who watch it!
In 2006, DEATH NOTE and DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME were released as parts 1 and 2, and became mega-hits in Japan. Topping the Japanese box office, grossing over $80 million combined. They were also released in such Asian district and countries as Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand, where the filmsnot only became big hits, but triggered a sensational boom which can be described as a social phenomenon. Last year, DEATH NOTE and DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME each had a US nationwide two-night theatrical screening that brought thousands of DEATH NOTE fans to theaters.
In 2008, L: change the WorLd (official Japanese title) grossed over $30 million and went on to become a hit across Asia. It now follows the DEATH NOTE films to American cinemas with a two-night nationwide theatrical event on April 29 and 30.
In DEATH NOTE, Light Yagami, the mass murderer who stunned the world with his superior intellect, and L, the young genius detective, fought a ferocious intellectual battle. To end it, L had to make the ultimate sacrifice that left him only 23 days to live.
From the moment he made the decision, what has happened in those last days which led to the shocking ending of DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME was unknown. Now, the last 23 days of L are revealed in a tale that is full of surprises.
Directed by Hideo Nakata, known for his #1 US box office hit THE RING TWO (2005) and the popular J-horror RING (Ringu) film series, DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd is a must-see film for “L” fans worldwide!
The film features what happened before and after the two DEATH NOTE films and shows fans the more human side of L that could not be seen in DEATH NOTE.
The story begins as the legendary detective “L” (Kenichi Matsuyama) takes on the “Kira” case, in which countless criminals are mysteriously dying of sudden heart attacks. L leaves his headquarters in Los Angeles and travels to Japan where he believes with a 97% certainty that the killer is located. L also predicts that he may have to risk his life to solve the case.
In Japan, L teams up with another young genius named Light Yagami (Tatsuya Fujiwara), who is in fact Kira himself. Using the Death Note, a notebook belonging to a god of death, Light tries to become God of a criminal-free new world. By sacrificing himself, L solves the case and stops Kira but loses Watari (Shunji Fujimura), the loyal retainer who was L’s most trusted partner.
After Watari’s death, L takes on the task of solving the cases left in Watari’s file. As he completes the last case, he receives a ‘gift’ addressed to Watari… a young boy (Narushi Fukuda). From the SD card he had with him, L discovers that this boy is the sole survivor of a mysterious epidemic that hit a small village in Thailand. L has a strong suspicion that this epidemic is not a natural occurrence, but that something man-made and evil is behind it.
Around the same time, L meets Maki (Mayuko Fukuda), a young girl looking for Watari for help. Her father, a scientist at the Infectious Disease Center of Asia, had given her the key to solving this case before he died a horrible death. As L realizes the item the girl brought is, indeed, the “Death” in question, a deadly virus ten times more fatal than Ebola.
The appearances of the children at L’s door are linked to a bioterrorist group intent on changing the world by wiping out the majority of the human population with a deadly virus, while preserving the planet and its environment for the chosen few who will be made immune to the lethal plague.
As L and scientist Dr. Koichi Matsudo (Sei Hiraizumi) try to formulate an antidote, the villains responsible for creating the virus are closing in. If L cannot stop the terrorists and bring them to justice before his imminent death, the final days of his life may also be the final days of humankind.
Will L be able to save the world before it’s too late?
Kenichi Matsuyama (L / Ryuzaki):
Born in Aomori on March 5th, 1985, Kenichi Matsuyama made his screen debut in BRIGHT FUTURE (2002), directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Recently he has appeared in popular films such as NANA (2006) directed by Kentaro Otani, LINDA LINDA LINDA (2005) directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita, and DETROIT METAL CITY (2008). He is one of the most promising actors in Japan. Later this year he will be seen in the title role of the ninja film KAMUI (2009).
Mayuko Fukuda (Maki Nikaido):
Born in Tokyo on August 4th, 1994, Mayuko Fukuda made her debut as an actress in the Japanese TV drama SUMMER SNOW in 2000. Her first appearance in a feature film was in KAMIKAZE GIRLS (2004), and she has had roles in SYNESTHESIA (2005), SINKING OF JAPAN (2006) and 10 PROMISES TO MY DOG (2008).
Narushi Fukuda (Boy):
Born in Tokyo on January 7th, 2000, Narushi Fukuda is a backup dancer for many musical artists at their concerts and events. DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd is his first appearance in a film.
Youki Kudoh (Dr. Kimiko Kujo):
Born in Tokyo on January 17th, 1971, Youki Kudoh entered the world of acting in 1983 and gained popularity from her role in a TV commercial. The next year she made her screen debut in the film THE CRAZY FAMILY (1984). She was the voice of Saya in the hit anime BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (2000). More recently, she has appeared in American films such as MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (2005), MASTERS OF HORROR: IMPRINT (2006) and RUSH HOUR 3 (2007).
Kiyotaka Nanbara (Agent Hideaki Suruga):
Born in Kagawa on February 13th, 1965, Kiyotaka Nanbara is part of the manzai comedian duo “Utchan Nanchan.” As one of the most famous comedians in Japan, he appears in various TV shows and made his film debut in 1986. In 1992, Utchan Nanchan won the Japanese Academy Award for Best New Actor for their leading roles in the film CULT SEVEN. His recent credits include the fantasy film MONKEY MAGIC (2006).
Sei Hiraizumi (Dr. Koichi Matsudo):
Born in Aichi on June 2nd, 1944, Sei Hiraizumi is a veteran actor who has appeared on TV and films as well as theater productions. His credits include MAGMA MAN (1973), VIOLENT COP (1989), UNAGI (1997), ULTRAMAN GAIA: THE BATTLE IN HYPERSPACE (1998), ROBOT CONTEST (2003), AEGIS (2005) and CHAMELEON (2008). He is also known as a narrator for various TV commercials and documentaries.
Masanobu Takashima (Daisuke Matoba):
Born in Tokyo on October 27th, 1966, Masanobu Takashima debuted as an actor in a TV series in 1988 and made his first appearance in a feature film in 1990. In Japan, he is most well known for his role in the long running TBS TV series HOTEL, which aired from 1990 to 2002. International fans may know him best for his appearances in GODZILLA VS BIOLLANTE (1989) and GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004).
Shingo Tsurumi (Kimihiko Nikaido):
Born in Tokyo on December 29th, 1964, Shingo Tsurumi debuted in 1977 as an actor. He has acted in numerous TV series, films, and theater productions. His credits include the RING sequel RASEN (1998), SHARK SKIN MAN AND PEACH HIP GIRL (1998), DEAD OR ALIVE (1999) and LORELEI: THE WITCH OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN (2005). More recently he has been known for his role as Captain Hook in the musical PETER PAN. He will next been seen in the live-action film version of MW.
Hideo Nakata (Director):
Born in Okayama on July 19th, 1961, Hideo Nakata began his career as a director in 1992 with a TV series about scary stories that really happened. He is best known for directing RING (Ringu, 1998) and RING 2 (Ringu 2, 1999) and helped spread the popularity of the J-horror genre worldwide. He made his American debut with THE RING TWO (2005), a sequel to the remake of his own film. In 2007 he directed the period horror film KAIDAN and an episode of the mini-series OPERATION: MYSTERY- SECOND FILE. He recently made the documentary A FOREIGN FILMMAKERS’ GUIDE TO HOLLYWOOD (2009).
Hirotoshi Kobayashi (Screenwriter):
Born in Tokyo on March 29th, 1960, Hirotoshi Kobayashi wrote his first screenplay for the film THE KINGDOM BEYOND THE STARS (Hoshizora no Muko no Kuni) in 1987 and wrote the novelized version of the same title. As a novelist, he wrote the novel version of an anime and has continued to publish over 50 novels. As a screenwriter, he recently wrote for films such as NEGATIVE HAPPY CHAINSAW EDGE (2008) and ACCURACY OF DEATH (Sweet Rain Shinigami no Seido, 2008).
Kenji Kawai (Music Composer):
Born in Tokyo in 1957, Kawai is widely known as a composer for Mamoru Oshii’s animated feature film GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995), AVALON (2001), GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE (2004) and THE SKY CRAWLERS (2008), as well as Hideo Nakata’s RING (1998), RING 2 (1999), CHAOS (1999) and DARK WATER (2002). His work has also appeared in the famous animated TV series MAISON IKKOKU, DEVILMAN and RANMA ½, as well as live-action TV dramas and ULTRAMAN NEXUS. He was the music composer of DEATH NOTE and DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME as well.
Lenny Kravitz’s song “I’ll Be Waiting” is the theme song for this film.
Kenichi Matsuyama (L / Ryuzaki)
Youki Kudoh (Kimiko Kujo)
Mayuko Fukuda (Maki Nikaido)
Kiyotaka Nanbara (Hideaki Suruga)
Narushi Fukuda (Boy)
Megumi Sato (Hatsune Misawa)
Sei Hiraizumi (Matsudo Koichi)
Shingo Tsurumi (Kimihiko Nikaido)
Masanobu Takashima (Daisuke Matoba)
Bokuzo Masana (Asao Konishi)
Yuta Kanai (Tamotsu Yoshizawa)
Renji Ishida (Shin Kagami)
Kazuki Namioka (F)
Shunji Fujimura (Watari)
Shido Nakamura (Ryuk)
Director: Hideo Nakata
Screenwriter: Hirotoshi Kobayashi
DEATH NOTE Original Story by: Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata
Music: Kenji Kawai
Theme Song: Lenny Kravitz “I’ll Be Waiting”
Special Effects Director: Makoto Kamiya
Cinematography: Kusho Kikumura
Production Designer: Kyoko Yauchi
Lighting: Yuuki Nakamura
Sound Recording: Masato Komatsu
Editor: Nobuyuki Takahashi
Assistant Director: Ryuichi Saeki
Casting: Takefumi Yoshikawa
Producer: Tadashi Tanaka / Nobuhiro Iizuka / Takahiro Kobashi
Production Company: Nikkatsu
For more information on the DEATH NOTE series please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- AFM /AFI FEST REPORT #3: DEATH NOTE
- Record-breaking weekend for DEATH NOTE: THE LAST NAME
- DEATH NOTE Anime Series Comes to DVD from VIZ Media
- VIZ Pictures Licenses Theatrical and DVD Rights to Live Action DEATH NOTE Films
- Directors to Attend Vancouver Screenings of DEATH NOTE and THE iDol
- DEATH NOTE Live-Action Film on R1 DVD
- VIZ Media Announces Anime Releases for Fall 2008
- DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME U.S. Theatrical Event!
- Win Tickets to See DEATH NOTE Movies in Canada and US
- NY Anime Festival Sponsors DEATH NOTE Day at Kinokuniya
- DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME Ticket Winners!
- DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME Press Notes
- Canadian Theatrical Debut of DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME
- DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME on Region 1 DVD from VIZ Pictures
- DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd U.S. Theatrical Event!
- Win Tickets to See DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd on April 29
- DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd Ticket Winners!