Widely renowned as one of the best video game series of all time, Castlevania set a standard for gaming with its introduction in 1986. The legend of the Belmont clan has inspired numerous iterations over the years and has become one of the stalwarts of gaming, thanks to its innovative approach to the Dracula mythos and genuine moments of terror.
With its eclectic cast of characters and vast world, Castlevania is an intellectual property that has long been ripe for adaptation. A film adaptation has been stuck in development limbo for years, but now it looks like fans will have the chance to see the fabled realm of Castlevania brought to life in a different medium.
Adi Shankar, the producer behind Dredd, as well as the famed internet shorts The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, Venom: Truth in Journalism, and the brutal Power/Rangers reimagining, will produce a violent, anime styled miniseries based on one of the best Castlevania games, Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse. The confirmation was made via Shankar’s Facebook page, and comes after months of rumblings and rumors without any solid leads.
Here is how Shankar described the planned approach on Castlevania, when asked by Collider's Steve Weintraub:
There will be a lot [of violence and gore]. The goal is to bring hard hitting anime to the America and be America’s first animated series for adults
The series will be produced with Kevin Kolde (whom Shankar misidentified as Klonde in his Facebook post) and Fred Seibert of Frederator studios, the same people who brought you The Fairly OddParents and Adventure Time. Shankar, of course, is a producer known for approaching his work from the fan’s perspective, infusing his work with no holds barred depictions of popular characters in ways that are both reverent to the source and entirely fresh. Hence, as far as influences for the Castlevania miniseries go, Shankar provided the following geek-friendly list to Weintraub:
Akira, Ghost in a Shell, Ninja Scroll, Young Justice aka the best series ever and it shouldn’t have been canceled wtf.
The Castlevania miniseries will be based on the game Castlevania 3 (a.k.a. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse): a prequel to the original Castlevania that follows the rise of the Belmont clan’s multi-generational battle with the forces of evil controlled by Dracula. The protagonist, Trevor Belmont, was the first to pick up the whip to confront the demons and beasts that terrorized the countryside, and forever cursed the Belmont name, He was joined by sorceress Sypha Belnades, pirate Grant Danasty, and the dhampir (half human, half vampire) Alucard—Dracula’s son—in his quest to rid the world of darkness. The game was known for its multiple pathways to victory, each with their own possibilities, making it one of the richest side-scrollers of the NES era.
As such, the Castlevania 3 game mythos offers a vast tapestry for Shankar and company to pull from in their development and just thinking of the directions the series could take is tantalizing. Given Shankar’s history with famously geeky properties, he feels like just the man to give the series the treatment it deserves. As Dredd and Dirty Laundry both showcased, super violence is something the producer is more than comfortable with and working in a medium like animation opens up the field to the entirety of his bloody imagination. He may well bring everything fans of the video game series love about Dracula’s Curse to the table.
No word yet on when to expect Castlevania, but we’ll update you as information becomes available.