Castlevania is one of the most celebrated and long lived video game franchises of all time and, earlier this year, the series was adapted into an animated show on Netflix. Video game adaptations have often fallen flat but the Netflix series has been met with a strong response from both gamers and critics.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Castlevania’s Executive Producer, Adi Shankar, it’s thanks to Netflix that he was able to realise his vision of what the show should be. “Finally, on a personal note, making something authentic for the fans is always a challenge,” he said. “Lucky we had Netflix who is an amazing partner and who allowed us to make our vision a reality.”
We often hear horror stories of companies sapping the soul from a project but it seems Netflix has been very supportive when it comes to the Castlevania adaptation. Shankar went on to reveal that he had previously been approached to create a live action adaptation of Castlevania with Channing Tatum as the star. Shankar declined the offer as he felt it wouldn’t be authentic to the series.
“As an example of how wrong this could have gone, I was approached in 2012 about making a live action Castlevania, by another group (to be clear, none of whom are involved in this Netflix version). I passed on that opportunity because I didn’t feel like that group wanted to make an authentic Castlevania movie and instead were making a movie titled Castlevania to leverage off the “pre-existing brand awareness” associated with the title.
“I was told, for example, that Trevor Belmont had to be American and that Channning Tatum was my front runner. I walked away from what would have been a lucrative deal for me financially because I was a fan, because of my personal relationship with Castlevania, and because I didn’t want to partake in the massacre my childhood. The fact that fans of Castlevania love the show was our greatest victory and the fact that the show has expanded beyond that core audience and into general pop culture has been surreal.”
It seems the Castlevania show is a real labor of love for Adi Shankar and we wish more games were treated with such care when being adapted for TV or film.