Netflix is getting into the Castlevania business with a new original series based on the once-thriving video game series due out later this year. The project has been gestating for a very long time (and even predates Netflix's original programming initiative itself) and promises a dark and gory tale of vampire lore. Mike Williams at USgamer explains who is behind this project.
Netflix has announced that it has greenlit an original animated series based on Konami's Castlevania. The animated series is being developed by Adventure Time producer Fred Seibert's Frederator Studios, with writing from Warren Ellis, the comic book author behind Transmetropolitan, The Authority, Netwave, and Iron Man: Extremis. Castlevania will be produced by Adi Shankar, the guy behind the Punisher: Dirty Laundry and the Power/Rangers fanfilms that everyone loved for being grimdark, alongside Ellis, Seibert, and Kevin Kolde.
There's certainly a strong mix of talent working on this. Unfortunately, it sounds like the show will not use the established Belmont family protagonists such as Simon, Trevor, or Richter but will instead feature a new character from the slayer bloodline. I'm feeling some early hesitation with a mix of impending pessimism here because it always bugs me when someone licenses a property and then doesn't use the characters from that property. Why not just make your own thing instead? The long-dead Castlevania movie had the same problem when it was supposed to be a "Dracula Begins" kind of movie instead of a Castlevania tale. I hope this show is worthwhile and I'll definitely tune in (and it's not the first time a game-inspired production has diverted from the source material), but it's a peeve of mine. Shankar promises that this will be "the western world’s first good video game adaptation", and knowing that the creative team has already blocked out two seasons, I'm hopeful that this will work out after all. Some of the iconic Castlevania soundtrack must make it into the show though. It's just not Castlevania without "Vampire Killer" or "Beginning".