Apparently, Netflix must be enthused with their newest original programming. According to Deadline, Netflix’s animated Castlevania series has been renewed for a second season — mere hours after the first season premiered on the streaming platform. The first season, based on the events of Castlevania III, follows vampire hunter Trevor Belmont as he battles against the demonic legions of Dracula and clocks in at just about 100 total minutes (spread over four episodes). Reportedly, season 2 will comprise eight episodes of undisclosed length.
Reviews thus far have been overwhelmingly positive, praising the show’s brutality and its commitment to exploring themes of morality. Some fans believe that the first season was originally intended as a feature-length film, based on its short runtime — it is possible Netflix decided to chop it up into episodes upon realizing how lucrative a TV series would be.
Showrunner Adi Shankar — known for spinning off established IPs into “bootleg universes” — has also been tabbed by Ubisoft to produce an animated series based upon the Assassin’s Creed games. We’re interested to see if that series makes its way to Netflix in the future.
A vampiric return
It looks like Dracula has risen once again, and it’s up to Netflix to save the day. Movie producer Adi Shankar (The Grey, Dredd) announced via Facebook that he will be producing a Castlevania animated series for Netflix, set to launch later this year. Shankar also confirmed that a second season will arrive in 2018.
BREAKING NEWS: Castlevania is a Netflix Original Series with Season 1 launching in 2017 and Season 2 in 2018….
The animated series will be written by comic book writer Warren Ellis, known for Red and Transmetropolitan. Adventure Time’s Kevin Kolde will also be involved, but it’s uncertain to what extent. The Facebook post by Shankar suggests that Kolde was the one who was able to get Netflix to agree.
Shankar is known for working on projects that are violent and gritty. He claims that this will be the “western world’s first good video game adaptation.” Granted, that’s not the loftiest of claims to make.
The first installment of Castlevania was released back in 1986 for the Famicom Disk System, more commonly known in the U.S. as the NES. It starred Simon Belmont, a descendant from a line of vampire hunters. He must travel to Dracula’s castle, which emerges every 100 years, and defeats the vampire. The game is also filled with other classic monsters like Frankenstein, Queen Medusa, and the Grim Reaper.
The latest release for a Castlevania video game was Lords of Shadow 2 in 2014. It received a decent response from critics but didn’t live up to its predecessor. Unfortunately, it seems that Castlevania’s video game lineage might be over, as publisher Konami has slowly moved away from the traditional gaming business. The company has instead focused on Pachinko machines and health spas in Japan. Technically the latest Castlevania game was CR Pachinko Akumajō Dracula. However, a Pachinko version of Castlevania is not what most gamers would consider a true chapter in the series.
If the Netflix series proves to be popular, there might be hope for a new game as well.
Update: Added information regarding the series’ premiere and season 2 renewal.