There is a Castlevania Netflix series on its way this year, and it will be animated. This could be the most original take on vampires since New Line Cinemas made Wesley Snipes’ Blade.
The Castlevania video game franchise was one of the most notoriously difficult of its kind, especially early on. The second game on the NES, which is included in the Classic Edition’s library of 30 titles, has been heralded as one of the top ten hardest games of all time. The franchise follows the story of Simon Belmont and his family as they take on the notorious Count Dracula (who never seems to stay dead). At one point, the franchise allowed the player to use Dracula’s son Alucard (whose name is literally his father’s spelled backward) in the fight against the forces of evil.
Gamers aren’t so fond of the N64 attempt to take the franchise into the 3D platforming realm.
Bringing video game storylines out of the interactive realm usually doesn’t work so well. There is a running trend where film studios attempt to take popular games and turn them into feature films, and all too often, they end up in Walmart bargain bins a year later because nobody wants to own them. Despite what critics have claimed, a few slipped through the cracks of mediocrity, like Silent Hill, Mortal Kombat, and Assassin’s Creed, but it’s movies like Doom and Super Mario Bros. which became the unfortunate norm.
Animated TV shows based on video games haven’t been done much, but one of the most famous examples was The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. It was a silly collection of animated shorts featuring Nintendo’s most loved characters, hosted by former WWF wrestler “Captain” Lou Albano and Danny Wells as Mario and Luigi, respectively. Nintendo has enjoyed moderate success with follow-up series featuring Kirby and Mega Man, and rival Sonic the Hedgehog has been turned into a few series with less impressive results.
While Castlevania becoming a Netflix series might be a good choice, it might be important to remember that the streaming service also debuts plenty of stinkers. For every Stranger Things and Santa Clarita Diet, we get Special Correspondents and Ridiculous Six. Adam Sandler has a four-film contract with Netflix, and he’s currently prepping his third. It appears that movies don’t do as well as TV series when they debut on the streaming service.
It’s probably good that Castlevania will be animated. Animation offers much more creativity in visuals and storytelling, where live-action is often limited in what you can do before the audience starts getting tired of the CG. Compare Adam West’s cheesy Batman TV series with the 90s’ animated series, and it’s almost like comparing night and day.
The tendency to go either way with critics is probably why Frederator Studios hasn’t really made a major announcement of the series. According to Techspot, Netflix is calling Castlevania “super violent, dark, and satirical, [and] it would flip the vampire sub-genre on its head.” It’s possible that Belmont will be making subtle references to Twilight and Blade: Trinity, two attempts at vampire storytelling which critics were not kind to.
The upcoming animated series revolves around the last remaining member of the Belmont clan taking on Vlad Dracula Tepe as he attempts to save the population of Eastern Europe from extinction. It takes place in medieval times, so it will allegedly maintain the mood which the games brought with them. The series will apparently take notes from the Batman animated series with its “lone hero against a collective evil” approach.
Are you excited to see the upcoming Castlevania Netflix series?
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