Margaret Qualley (whose credits include The Leftovers and the upcoming The Nice Guys) has been cast as the female lead in the Warner Bros. film Death Note, which is an interpretation of the Japanese manga series by Tsugumi Ohba. This follows on the heels of the news that Nat Wolff, the star of The Fault In Our Stars, will be portraying Light Yagami, the main character who finds a notebook of supernatural origin. This book grants him the ability to kill whomever he wants, as long as he knows the victim’s face and name.
These casting decisions led to fans of Death Note (along with fans of anime and manga) to lament the decision that the main characters will now all be white and not Asian. This same dilemma previously occurred with the casting news of the now defunct Akira and the news that Scarlett Johansson will be playing Motoko Kusanagi in an upcoming version of Ghost in the Shell.
To the upset fans, the casting is more of the same from Hollywood where Asian faces are replaced by white ones in order to play to American audiences. This is in spite of the fact that minorities make up a staggering amount of population, yet only are represented in such a small amount on the big screen (even television is starting to become more racially diverse to reflect the changing times). Whether or not the film will be good remains to be seen, but it is definitely disheartening to see a lack of Asian representation in leading roles even as America borrows their source material to make money.