My first reactions to this were "Thank god this abomination hasn't been green-lit" and "*@#& you Hollywood!"
Getting over that I can see how a looser translation could work. But don't call it Death Note. Calling it Death Note while whitewashing it and getting rid of many of the major plot characters and plot elements entirely is just asking for a colossal failure and fanbase revolt. It's like they didn't pay attention to the DBZ and Airbender fiascos.