Netflix had a busy day of announcements today, including confirming additional seasons for The OA and Love, along with declaring that Kate McKinnon will be headlining a Magic School Bus revival series as the fantastical Ms. Frizzle. The streaming platform definitely saved the biggest news for last however, as they confirmed tonight that an original new animated series inspired by Konami’s popular gothic action game franchise, Castlevania will debut on Netflix later this year! There was no indication of a Castlevania series being in development for Netflix before now (though the idea of an animated Castlevania series was hinted to be in early development in 2015), making this announcement quite a huge surprise for gamers and Netflix subscribers alike!
The Castlevania series has been largely dormant in the gaming space lately, with its most recent release being 2014’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which released for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and drew mixed reception from both critics and fans. The series is celebrating its 30th anniversary in North America in 2017 however, observing when the series’ first title, aptly called ‘Castlevania‘, released on NES back in 1987. This game originally released in Japan a year previous, for the Japan-exclusive Famicom Disk System, where it was known as ‘Akumajo Dracula‘, the brand that the franchise has operated under in its native country ever since.
The Castlevania series will be produced by Adi Shankar, whose recent producing efforts include movies such as Dredd, Lone Survivor and A Walk Among the Tombstones. Comic book writer, Warren Ellis will also write for the Castlevania series on top of being Shankar’s co-producer, with Ellis’ work in comics and graphic novels including Iron Man: Extremis, Red, Hellblazer and more. Speaking a bit about the series alongside Netflix’s announcement today, Shankar confirmed that the series will be ‘hard R-rated’, and will be similar in style to HBO’s ultra-popular fantasy action-drama series, Game of Thrones.
Details are currently few regarding this upcoming Castlevania series, though Shankar did indicate that it would loosely adapt the events of 1989’s NES/Famicom game, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, which chronicled some of the earliest events of the long-spanning Castlevania timeline. Taking place in 1476, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse detailed the first proper battle of the Belmont Clan against their arch-nemesis, Dracula, as Dracula’s demonic armies rose to try and conquer Europe. This entry in the series also introduced Dracula’s son, Alucard to the canon as a recruitable ally to protagonist, Trevor Belmont, with Alucard making recurring appearances throughout the series afterward, most notably starring in one of the series’ most beloved offerings, 1997’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on PlayStation, and Sega Saturn in the case of Japan.
Netflix’s announcement has claimed that Castlevania’s first season will be rolled out in four ‘Parts’, which will begin releasing later this year, as chunks of approximately thirty-minute episodes. Shankar also claims that a second season has already been commissioned (although Netflix hasn’t corroborated this), and will hit Netflix in 2018. Whatever the case, we will be sure to keep an eye on the continued development of Castlevania, so keep hunting Eggplante for all major news and updates on Konami’s monstrous action game franchise.
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