3 Reasons Why Willem Dafoe Is Our Ryuk In ‘Death Note’

We are preparing for the US adaptation of the Japanese manga series, , that is due to release in 2017. So far, the casting has been great for Netflix’s take on the popular series.

I think Oscar Nominated actor, Willem Dafoe is perfect to voice the “Shinigami” creature Ryuk, and here’s why.

1. He is open to “Unusual” Roles.

In the R-rated film, Anamorph, he played a detective stricken with obsessive compulsive disorder, who’s also struggling with alcoholism as he tries to stop a serial killer. He later played a husband experiencing strange visions after the loss of a child in the also R-rated film, Antichrist. When asked about the latter role, he went on to express how enthusiastic he was about doing “dark stuff”.

“I think the dark stuff, the unspoken stuff is more potent for an actor. It’s the stuff we don’t talk about, so if you have the opportunity to apply yourself to that stuff in a playful, creative way, yes I’m attracted to it.”

It’s clear Dafoe is interested in the “Rated: R” genre. Even where he expressed, “the unspoken stuff is more potent for an actor” shows how far he’d go with this particular career. These unusual roles are something he’s not afraid of getting into, so having another film for audiences 17+ wouldn’t be new territory for his acting capabilities. This time he’ll be an invisible demon, floating amongst the living, while enjoying apples. I mean, things can’t get any more creative than an unseen, fruit loving demon, can it?

2. The Sinister Voice of “Fan Favorite” Green Goblin

It’s been over a decade since Dafoe’s first appearance as the gliding adversary, Green Goblin in 2002s Spider-Man. Some fans even went on to vote his Goblin as better than Dane DeHaan’s 2014 interpretation from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The voting took place inside a thread at , where he beat DeHaan by seven votes, ending the tournament at 10 for Dafoe and three for DeHaan.

We’ve heard the range of his sinister voice for Norman Osborns’ alter-ego, so who wouldn’t want to hear his take on an evil entity? The live-action Japanese version of the character was voiced by actor Shidou Nakamura, with English dubbing from Brian Drummond. Both interpretations were done well, but with Dafoe’s voice-over experience from films like Finding Nemo and Fantastic Mr. Fox, he will have no issue with the 2017 project.

3. He Loves Being The Villain

The actor has had his time indulging in the most peculiar roles in Hollywood. He’s been a vampire named, Count Orlok a.k.a “The Bird of Death,” who feasts on the blood of living humans from the film, Shadow of the Vampire. The creature he portrayed was believed to have been created by Belial, a lieutenant of Satan.

Evidently, he is no stranger to anything related to evil or death in films, so his take on “The Death God” should be an easy tackle. Even his Shinigami approach in Death Note could be as villainous as an ancient vampire from the 1920s.

With all of this experience beneath his belt; from taking on unusual roles, using a menacing voice for a fan favorite character, to even being an ancient villain, he has the tenacity to take on any job that lands in from of him. He’s been the villain numerous of times in films and with that amount of background, he will do great as Ryuk in Death Note.

Do you think he will do great as the demon?


Director, Gold Remi Award Winning Screenplay Writer. -Never doubt your intentions, they could be wrong-