Last Summer, Netflix teamed up with Fred Seibert to create an anime-style, ultra violent adaptation of Konami’s long-running Castlevania franchise. The inaugural season was just four episodes long, but that’s far from the end. A second season was officially announced last year, and we’ve even seen reports that a third season has been greenlit. Even so, we still have no official release date for the second season.
We were originally told we could expect eight more episodes to air this Summer, but there’s been no word since then. Summer has officially kicked off now, and it’s unclear if season 2 will still hit that target. Writer Warren Ellis recently chimed in on the matter on Twitter, stating that eight episodes are still planned for “sometime later this year.” Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later, but if they need a little extra time to polish things off we’ll just have to wait.
No Our Verdict
FAQ: #CASTLEVANIA season 2 will be 8 episodes long, out sometime later this year. I don’t have the release date yet – these things are decided by people other than me. Lots and lots of great animators are working incredibly hard on it. You'll have plenty of warning of the date. pic.twitter.com/9aZ6S1dD6z
Last summer (geez, it’s already been that long?), the long-awaited animated Castlevania series launched on Netflix. Despite the initial hesitation by many, the series garnered a lot of praise, including from myself. It’s no surprise then, that shortly after the series launched, Netflix announced that the series was already booked for a second, longer season. Fans won’t have to wait too long for it, however, as writer Warren Ellis has now confirmed that the eight-episode season will be premiering this summer!
Given how well the first series turned out, I’m thrilled that the new season is coming out so soon!
Though Netflix’s Castlevania series premiered only a few short days ago, the company has already ordered a second season. This continuation will run for eight episodes (double the length of Season 1) and will continue to be produced by Frederator Studios. It is unclear whether Warren Ellis, who penned the first season, will return to write the second. Ellis will at least remain on board as an executive producer alongside Adi Shankar, Kevin Kolde, and Fred Seibert.
I’m glad that not only are we getting a second season, but that it’s twice as long. If you want to read my impressions of Season 1, you can find that here. If you’ve seen it already, feel free to let me know what you thought as well!
When Adi Shankar announced that he was helming a production of Castlevania for Netflix, the general reaction I saw was filled with the usual outcries claiming that the show would be bad. Things didn’t get much better once we got an official trailer, either. But like it or not, Castlevania is finally here, releasing on Netflix earlier today. Will the short, two-hour season be a vampire killer or will we get the Shaft as yet another awful video game adaptation hits the market?
The story of Netflix’s Castlevania follows that of Castelvania III: Dracula’s Curse. Dracula has unleashed an army of the undead on the country of Wallachia as retribution for the Church’s execution of his wife. Fearing for their lives, the Church lays the blame at the feet of an organization known as the Speakers, who are in town to help the suffering townsfolk. After a run-in with both the Speakers and the Church, Trevor Belmont, the last son of the exiled Belmont clan, finds himself drawn into the war between the living and the undead.
Though the story is a fairly accurate representation of the game, even those without Castlevania knowledge will be able to follow along without any problems. Castlevania III is a prequel to most of the franchise anyway, so starting the show with it was a wise choice. For fans of the franchise, however, there are a few nods to the games embedded within, adding a nice touch to the series. For example, at one point early on, we see Dracula crying bloody tears over the death of his wife.
As good as the story is, it means nothing if the writing doesn’t express it well. Luckily, that isn’t a problem with Castlevania. The show’s writing, penned by comic book author Warren Ellis, does a great job at drawing you into the story. Two things really stood out to me, which I wouldn’t have expected out of Castlevania. First was its humor. Given that the producer described the series as “ultra-violent” and “R-rated as f***” (and it certainly is), it really caught me off guard. Trevor always seemed to have some sarcastic remark no matter what the situation, but it never felt like it took away from the scenario.
One of my favorite lines, for instance, comes in the first half of the season. Trevor saves the elder Speaker from an untimely end at the hands of two members of the Church, cutting the finger off of one and ripping an eye out of the other. Trevor then follows the man back to their residence to make sure he gets back safely. Once inside, Trevor is asked by another Speaker what he did that might bring trouble on the clan, to which Trevor responds, “I’m a little out of practice… They’re both still alive.” There are quite a few lines like this sprinkled through series and each one is delivered phenomenally.
The other thing is sympathy for Dracula himself. The focus of Castlevania as a series is that Dracula is bad and we need to kill him to save humanity. The games focus on the Belmonts (or other protagonists) as they attempt to accomplish this feat. There aren’t a lot of times that delve into Dracula’s backstory, but that’s where the show starts. It isn’t with Dracula ravaging the countryside. it’s with Dracula meeting a young woman, Lisa, who is searching for medical knowledge.
After a time skip, we see Lisa being burned at the stake by the Church for practicing witchcraft, where it is revealed that Lisa and Dracula had wed. Dracula, in a fit of rage, vows vengeance on the country; a threat which is further exacerbated by the Church celebrating the death of his wife a year later. Throughout this opening sequence, I honestly felt bad for Dracula. Though his rampage is certainly extreme, having that emotional backstory provided a compelling reason to unleash the demon hordes on the denizens. It gave us an understanding of why things were occurring the way they were while providing us with the motivation for certain events that happen towards the end of the season.
As great as the show is, it isn’t quite perfect. There are a few moments that left me scratching my head and wondering where a particular line of dialogue came from, but these are few and far between. The visuals themselves also look pretty clean and smooth for the most part, but to me it looked as though the mouth movement was a little bit off at times.
Honestly, my biggest complaint with the series is in its length. Castlevania Season 1 is composed of four episodes, each between 23-25 minutes. That isn’t to say that Castlevania wastes its time; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The short nature of the season really guides the show, leaving little room for it to delve into filler territory. That being said, it felt too short. One of the pinnacles of the series occurs right at the end of episode 4, right before dropping off completely.
Adi Shankar and the team behind Castlevania did a magnificent job delivering on their promise to create a violent, R-rated series. Vulgarity and gore are abound in this adaptation, but I can’t see it being any other way. It’s definitely not meant for kids, but if you can stand these aspects of it, you’ll find a fun, exciting time waiting for you. There are a few, very small issues I have with the show, but they aren’t anywhere close enough to push me away. Coming in at just under two hours in length, Castlevania is a fantastic way to spend an evening on Netflix before Dracula’s undead army comes to town.
No ChannelImages 9 Our Verdict Castlevania, Season 1 Great writing; surprisingly funny; follows Castlevania canon while being accessible to most anyone Extremely short season; a few instances of strange dialogue/mouth animations Top
Earlier this month, Netflix announced that a new cartoon based on Konami’s famed vampire franchise Castlevania is heading to their platform later this year. Produced by Adi Shankar and Frederator Studios, this animation is set to be dark and super violent, much in the vein of Game of Thrones. While we still don’t know much about this venture, Shankar revealed the first official poster for the series earlier today. True to the gritty feel the show is aiming for, this stunning image of Dracula’s castle is quite dark and foreboding.
With the release of this image, my excitement levels are through the roof for this project. I’ll certainly be the first to cry Bloody Tears if this winds up being awful. What do you think about the series’ look? Check out the image below and let us know what you think!
A few days ago, Netflix revealed that a new cartoon based on the classic Castlevania franchise will be coming later this year. We still don’t know a ton about the series, though producer Adi Shankar has since revealed some more information about what we can expect. This Castlevania series will be based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, according to Shankar, and is “going to be R-rated as f***.” In fact, Shankar even went so far as to draw comparisons to HBO hit Game of Thrones.
Castlevania follows “the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepe himself,” according to the Netflix description. Shankar also added that though Castlevania will be an interpretation of the game franchise, the series won’t feel like a cash grab. Video game adaptations have failed to capture their intended audience, Shankar believes, because they come from a place of inauthenticity. That is to say, these adaptations often feature significant alterations in order to earn more money, as opposed to the betterment of the material itself, which fans can pick up on. Shankar also pointed to his 2014 film Dredd as an example of an adaptation done right, stating:
“It’s kind of a departure from the comics based on the source material because you could argue the source material was more of a political satire than it was an action script. Dredd amounted to be a wall-to-wall action movie and, because it was a perspective on a character and a universe that came from someone who understands the world, it felt authentic.” — Adi Shankar
Regarding the show’s vision, Shankar stated that he’d like it to reach a Game of Thrones level of scale and gruesomeness, while creating Lord of the Rings-style cinematic battles. “If you look at Game of Thrones, each season was bigger than the last. 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,” said Shankar. He further stated:
“This is very much Castlevania done in the vein of Game of Thrones. (Producer and writer) Warren Ellis added so much depth to the material. [The series is] going to be R-rated as f***. … this is going to be the best f*****g video game adaptation we’ve had to date.” — Adi Shankar
Castlevania‘s casting is already completed and the first part of Season 1 is on schedule to be released this year, with a second season lined up for 2018. If the show actually lives up to these standards, I think it’ll be really great. There’s still a lot we don’t know about it though, so it could still go either way. Will you be checking Castlevania out upon its release?
Netflix has made quite a name for itself in recent years with their quality original programming. During an event today, Netflix announced its slate of upcoming productions. Tucked away in a press release was a quiet announcement, stating only “Castlevania Season 1, Part 1 Coming to Netflix in 2017.” No further details were revealed in this release, but an article on The Globe and Mail indicates that comic book author Warren Ellis wrote the script for this season.
Fred Seibert is joined by Kevin Kolde from Frederator Studios as well as Adi Shankar (who produced the Power Rangers short film in 2015) for this project. Shankar previously stated that he was working on a super violent, dark, and satirical Castlevania series with Seibert and Kolde, so this comes as no real surprise.
I’m personally excited to see how this project turns out. Castlevania is a franchise near and dear to my heart, so I have high hopes for this venture. I know I can’t wait to get more information about this series! How do you feel about it? Do you think the Castlevania TV series will be worth your time, or is it just an attempt to bank off of a popular franchise?
A few days ago we learned that Fred Seibert (creator or producer of numerous shows, including The Fairly OddParents, Adventure Time, Fanboy and Chum Chum, and Bee And Puppy Cat) is working on an animated series based on a video game. Seibert described it as “one of the most world-famous video games of the last 30 years” and revealed that he’s had the rights for 12 years, but he stopped short of naming the series. Many have been guessing that this means a Nickelodeon/Nintendo partnership, but a story from a year ago holds a different and more likely answer.
Back in August of 2015, we reported on the story that Adi Shankar (producer of the popular Power Rangers short film from 2015) was planning to create a “super violent” anime-inspired series based on Castlevania. His goal was to “bring hard hitting anime” to America and to create an animated series geared towards adults.
Shankar stated that he was teaming up with Kevin Kolde (a producer at Frederator Studios), and that Frederator had acquired the rights ” a few years ago.” At the time, his plan was to base the show on Castlevania III, and he cited Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, and Young Justice as influences.
We’ve heard nothing about this project since its initial tease nearly a year and a half ago, but it lines up perfectly with what Seibert teased more recently. Castlevania has been a series for 30 years, and (despite Konami’s recent lack of interest in the franchise) it’s definitely a well-known IP. According to Shankar, Frederator has had the rights to it for years, which lines up well with what Seibert himself said about his mystery series.
While the announcement was made on a Nickelodeon podcast, Seibert never directly confirmed that it was planned to air on Nickelodeon, and Frederator has put out plenty of content on other networks and platforms. Given the nature of the show that Shankar wants to produce, it’s likely not a Nickelodeon show at all.
Are you interested in seeing a violent, anime-influenced take on Castlevania? Sound off in the comments below!
What exactly that game is remains a mystery, but we do have a few clues. We can reasonably assume it’s not Mega Man, Sonic, Pac-Man, and Skylanders (and by extension Spyro the Dragon), as each such franchise already has a cartoon adaption in production with various other studios. We also know they’ve been drafting this series on and off for twelve years, which means they obtained the license somewhere around 2004. For this same reason, we can safely assume anything owner by Nintendo is off the table, as they’ve only recently begun loosening their restrictions on their IP.
Crash Bandicoot sticks out to me as not only the most likely candidate, but perhaps the best series fit for a Nickelodeon adaptation. The series takes place in a zany cartoon world with a mad scientist and a dynamic-yet-dim-witted animal hero, which leaves the door wide open for creative short-form storytelling and plenty of animated gags. In fact, Crash’s co-creator David Siller revealed that Universal Studios once produced a cartoon ad for the original game, which you can watch embedded below, serving as a rough template for an animated Crash Bandicoot series.
Of course, there are plenty of other possibilities to entertain if you set likelihood aside. Pikmin, Rayman, Ratchet & Clank, Splatoon, and tons of other franchises come to mind as ripe cartoon universes for short episodic storytelling. What franchise do you think would be the best fit for a Nickelodeon adaption?
Update: This article originally stated that the show was planned for Nickelodeon. This has not been officially confirmed (even though the announcement was made on a Nickelodeon podcast), and there is reason to believe otherwise. We’ve since corrected the error.
Original article: Video game movies have become more and more commonplace in recent years as Hollywood studios attempt to capitalize on popular IP, and that trend is spilling over into TV shows as well. A new Mega Man cartoon is in the works at Man of Action Entertainment, Sonic Boom is still airing on Boomerang and Cartoon Network, and Netflix has a Skylanders show, to name a few.
At least one more major game-to-TV adaptation is in the works, as Fred Seibert of Frederator Studios recently revealed that his team is working on a show based on “one of the most world famous video games of the last 30 years.” During a recent Nick Animation Podcast, he said the following:
“What we look for is great characters and great stories, and if we are lucky enough, because they’re a lot harder to find than you would think, we move Heaven and earth to try to make them happen. We have a project now that we’re doing that needs to go unnamed based on one of the most world-famous video games of the last 30 years that we’ve had in our shop for 12 years without being able to get it started. But there were great characters and a great story, and eventually we got it going.” — Fred Seibert
Unfortunately, Seibert couldn’t give any additional details. Many have speculated it could be a Nintendo show, as Nintendo certainly has some of the most world famous video games of the last 30 years and they’ve been looking to expand their brand with video content. Others have suggested it could be related to Crash Bandicoot, as the video game series was last seen 12 years ago (when this project first began) and will soon be making a comeback.
Seibert has been behind shows like The Fairly OddParents, Adventure Time, Fanboy and Chum Chum, and Bee And Puppy Cat in the past. What video game series would you like to see him tackle?