With less than 100 minutes worth of content making up the entire first season, Netflix’s new Castlevania series may officially be the easiest show to binge watch on the platform.
The series, which is based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, only has four episodes, each spanning anywhere from 23 to 30 minutes in length. While that may seem very short, even in comparison to other Netflix series like Voltron: Legendary Defender, it does make sense considering that Castlevania was supposed to be a trilogy of films instead of a television show.
Back in March 2007, writer Warren Ellis sent an email to Bleeding Cool describing the Castlevania project that he was working on. In the email, Ellis specifically spoke about working on a feature-length adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, which at the time was supposed to be released direct to DVD.
We’ve worked with Koji Igarashi to get the film solidly inside the Castlevania timeline, and he’s approved everything I came up with, including some new embroidering to the timeline. To make it work as a film, I had to introduce new backstory, and I went through five drafts of the premise and three of the full outline to get the material where IGA wanted it. He remains absolutely passionate about Castlevania. After eight rewrites of pre-production material, I remain absolutely passionate about beating the crap out of IGA in a dark alleyway one day.
In August of 2008, an update from the production team confirmed that while Ellis had turned in a draft, there was interest from other studios about releasing it theatrically instead of as a direct-to-DVD title. After that, however, nothing else was heard about the project until February when producer Adi Shankar and Netflix announced it would be released as a series.
Although there are only four episodes right now, both Shankar and the streaming network confirmed at the time that Castlevania would get a second season with more episodes.
According to some people who have already seen the show, Castlevania feels like an animated movie that was broken down into four parts. Taking into the length of the first season, it does beg the question about whether Ellis’ script was altered slightly to work for a four-part season instead of a 100-minute feature length film.
“I think they secretly made a Castlevania movie and then decided to make it a TV season for some reason,” one person wrote on Reddit. “Added up it's the right length for an animated movie.”
Others have praised the series for its mature and adult approach to storytelling and the faithfulness of the adaptation, which does not hold back on the level of violence. Some, however, have criticized the depiction of Dracula, calling the lack of humanization troublesome.
Castlevania is currently available to stream on Netflix.