Castlevania showrunner Adi Shankar has big plans for his new series on Netflix that will reach Game of Thrones levels in scale and gruesomeness, but with cinematic battles akin to a Lord of the Rings movie.
Shankar spoke to Polygon today about Netflix’s new series, and while he couldn’t give too much information away, he did comment on his vision for the show. According to Shankar, the series is going to “set the bar” for video game adaptations.
“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.”
As far as how much input Konami, the developer behind the Castlevania franchise, has in the series, Shankar couldn’t say. The showrunner also declined to comment on which characters were going to be in the show, which era the series is set in or what elements from the original game will be included. Shankar said more information will be released in the next couple of weeks, including which actors will be voicing the characters.
“Casting is done and the show is going to be released this year,” Shankar said. “I really can’t comment and I don’t think fans of Castlevania are going to want to read spoilers for this show.”
Shankar, a self-proclaimed mega fan of the Castlevania series, said he believes fans of the franchise will dig it because the show is coming from someone who pored hours upon hours of gameplay into the games. When asked about concern over backlash from the Castlevania fan community, in the same way directors like Zack Snyder have received backlash for the way they portrayed beloved characters on film, Shankar was positive that wouldn’t happen.
“I think backlash comes from a place of inauthenticity,” Shankar said. “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.”
When asked if he was going to change parts of Castlevania to make the series feel more like an original TV show and not a straight adaptation, Shankar admitted he couldn’t get into anything specific, but pointed to Dredd, the 2014 film he executive produced, as an example of what he was talking about.
“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,” Shankar said. “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.”
Shankar hinted that Castlevania, which is definitely not intended for children, will follow suit and be an interpretation of the Castlevania franchise. He added that if you’re a “gamer or someone who has played Castlevania before” the Netflix series won’t come across as an inauthentic cash grab.
More information is expected to be released in the next few weeks. There is currently no release date for the series at this time, but the first part of the first season will be released this year.