The Belmonts are coming to Netflix.
According to ComicBook.com Netflix has picked up a half-hour animated series based on Konami’s classic video game franchise Castlevania. The series is being produced by Adi Shankar (Dredd, The Grey, Killing Them Softly) along with Adventure Time producer Fred Siebert. Acclaimed comic writer Warren Ellis is also attached as a producer on the series and wrote every episode.
Season 1 of the series will premiere in 2017 with season 2 following in 2018. Season 1, Part 1 will debut first with four episodes. In a post on his Facebook page Shankar made sure to address the possibility of yet another mediocre video game adaptation, writing, “I personally guarantee that it will end the streak and be the western world’s first good video game adaptation.”
Castlevania centers on the last surviving member of the Belmont clan as he travels to a demonic castle known as Castlevania in order to save Eastern Europe from the hands of Dracula. In an interview with Collider Shankar described the adult, violent tone for the show, saying the series “has a Game of Thrones vibe to it.”
Speaking to Shankar after the announcement IGN confirmed that the Netflix series will be based on Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse, a prequel to Castlevania. This makes perfect sense considering Ellis was already working on his own animated adaptation of Castlevania 3 back in 2006. It also suggests that the series will star Trevor Belmont rather than Simon, though the Netflix synopsis for the series does not specifically name which member of the Belmonts will be the focus.
Shankar’s description of the Castlevania series overtly suggests it will be geared toward adults rather than being in the vain of ’90s video game shows like Pokémon or The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. Video game movies have failed left and right almost without exception, but maybe a TV series can crack the code to get one right. Along with Castlevania there is currently a Mega Man animated series still in development, and a Battlefield series being developed by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content.
The announcement of a Castlevania series is especially interesting due to Konami’s recent stumbles and confusing decisions in the video game space. The company had a very public controversy over the last year with legendary game designer Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear series) which resulted in Kojima leaving the company. Konami has beloved properties like Metal Gear, Castlevania, Contra, Suikoden and Silent Hill, though the company’s focus with these properties has shifted more towards developing pachinko machines to the dismay of many fans. Hopefully the Castlevania Netflix series means Konami is going to start nurturing these properties rather than leaving them to fall by the wayside.
The four episodes of Castlevania‘s season 1, part 1 is set to premiere sometime this year.