Netflix’s ‘Castlevania’: Adi Shankar To ‘Set The Bar’ For Video Game Adaptations
The teaser for the much-anticipated Konami game adaptation for TV, Castlevania, has finally been released, with a definite premiere date. Netflix opened the 120-second teaser with a nostalgic trip down memory lane showing someone slipping a Castlevania cartridge in a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console. Several options of Netflix series show up on the screen, including Stranger Things, Narcos, and Orange is the New Black, before finally proceeding to the actual teaser.
The video shows all the essential elements of a Castlevania teaser, including a vampire rising from a coffin, Simon Belmont’s whip, and a castle that vaguely resembles the map from the original video game.
According to the series’ synopsis released by Netflix, Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy. It follows the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, who is trying to save Eastern Europe from the hands of Vlad Dracula Tepes himself.
Fans of the video game expressed encouragement and hope for the Netflix series. Their only request is for the show runners not to screw this up.
— ?? Darth Sean ??? (@darthsean85) May 24, 2017
OMG! OMG! July 7 pls come sooner! <3
— TheFoxberry? (@TheFoxberry) May 25, 2017
Castlevania is produced by Frederator, with production and visual development by Powerhouse Animation and additional animation from MUA Film. The TV adaptation will be written by Warren Ellis based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.
Ellis is well-known for his work on The Authority, Transmetropolitan, Nextwave, and Moon Knight. It looks like Ellis has been working on bringing Castlevania to life for more than a decade. Back in 2006, he announced that he was working on an animated feature titled Dracula’s Curse.
Meanwhile, Castlevania‘s producer, Adi Shankar, promised that the series “will end the streak and be the Western world’s first good video game adaptation.” Shankar explains to Gizmodo that early movies based on comic books were “totally bad” because those involved go into it reluctantly. Especially actors who, upon donning the superhero costume, would realize how ridiculous they looked and would then not commit fully to the role.
“I think backlash comes from a place of inauthenticity. Fans know when things are being changed as a way to make more money and when parts of a movie or show are being changed to make a better story.”
Adi Shankar was the executive producer of the 2012 Dredd movie and The Grey. He was also behind the over-the-top Power Rangers short in 2015. He describes Castlevania as “super violent,” and he expressed hope in setting the bar for video game adaptations. This means that Castlevania is definitely not for children.
“It’s going to be dark, satirical, and after a decade of propaganda, it will flip the vampire sub-genre on its head.”
“If you look at Game of Thrones, each season was bigger than the last,” Shankar said. “The last season had that huge Jon Snow battle, which was like a scene from Lord of the Rings. I’d like to do something along those lines.”
Konami’s involvement in the series is unclear though. But Shankar is confident that fans of the franchise will not be disappointed with the outcome. A self-proclaimed fan himself, he dedicated hours upon hours of gameplay into the Castlevania video game and is, therefore, working from a gamer’s point of view.
The TV adaptation may not show the big puzzle element that made Castlevania so popular years ago because, as Shankar explains, the camera moves differently between watching a film or TV show versus playing a video game.
Meanwhile, fans are wondering if an HD collection of the Castlevania franchise will be released. If not, Konami should really think about doing so, as fans think that there is no series more badly in need of it.
Castlevania will be airing on Netflix on July 7. Some of the voice cast includes Fred Tatasciore, Alejandra Reynoso, and James Callis.
[Featured Image by Konami]