Adi Shankar Describes Castlevania Season 2 as “Epicness” | Interview

Last year, the first season of Castlevania was released on Netflix. This 4 episode season was praised by the masses and people were wanting more immediately. Now, on October 26th, Season 2 of Castlevania will be released and I cannot wait. CFG got a chance to speak with the creator/producer of the series Adi Shankar (Dredd, The Grey) about the series! Enjoy!

From initially being a Kickstarter passion project to becoming one of the most amazing Netflix animated series to date, how did you feel about the outgoing support this new Castlevania series received?

Oh my gosh, it’s really something. The fans made this! The fans made this from something that should have been super niche. It was something that crossed over which was really cool.

Castlevania brought back old school 2D animation that fits perfectly with the story you are telling. What made you decide to go this route with that style?

That was the art style that I grew up loving when I was growing up in Hong Kong watching OVAs on TV.

Were there any inspirations that you pulled from to make Castlevania into the series it is today?

So definitely we referenced Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll, and a little bit of Captain Harlock.

Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D (1985)

Season 1 felt like a teaser because it ended just as the the main heroes began their quest to slay Dracula. Was it originally intended to be longer?

Neither, neither. It wasn’t intended to be longer and it wasn’t a test either. I personally wanted to get it out sooner rather than later.

Did you receive any push back for creating an R rated animated series?

No, not at all.

So this was all an original story?

Yes in conjunction with Warren Ellis and Kevin, my partner, on the show. 

I know you are a Castlevania fan. What is your favorite Castlevania game?

That would be Symphony of the Night

Are there any characters that you would say that you would relate to from the Castlevania video games?

Yes! I would have to say Soma Cruz from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrows on the Gameboy Advance (2003)

There have been a lot of sub par animated and live action adaptations of video games. How did you avoid being in the cliche with Castlevania?

No, it was just collaborating with people who were also fans of the whole thing, you know?

Castlevania is such a beloved franchise, what were some of the pitfalls you wanted to avoid while making this?

I did not want it to be bad (laughs).It sounds kind of like “Yo, you’re not giving me a proper answer”, but at the same time, “Yo, let’s get into a time machine and look at the world before the show came out” and how many times did someone make a video game adaptation and have it be good. Rather have it be not bad. That never happened before. It still hasn’t happened. It’s like Castlevania and then Rampage, and Rampage was not good.

I personally feel like a large percentage of video game to movie adaptations are made by people who don’t even know what the lore is. They end up making it into their own style. You on the other hand knew Castlevania prior to the animated series you created. That’s why it feels genuine, right next to your heart, when you made this.

Yes, and that’s how it feels for everyone involved in this show, you know, I think that’s it. That’s the key. You want to be working on this stuff with other people who were also fans of this thing.

But you don’t want to be having conversations with like “Yo, are whips cool?” “Why does he need a whip? Can he have a gun?” You know what I mean? You won’t have that conversation. What you just described is called Devil May Cry like, oh, that’s cool. Let’s do that. And it’s like “No! Its Castlevania!” I’m saying, but yeah, that sounds funny. But that’s conversations you end up having people in Hollywood.

Wow, really?

Green Lantern was in development for years! For years as a romantic comedy with Jack Black. Playing Green Lantern. This is a true story. This is Hollywood. A lot of these people do not know what they’re talking about, but now it’s changed. You’ve got Netflix and Netflix knows what’s up.


Sounds like they gave you a hundred percent of creative control.

150 percent creative control. Hell yes.

Did you consider adapting other Castlevania stories such as Rondo of Blood or Symphony of the Night?

So a couple things on that. You know, one, like we are our own universe, you know what I’m saying? We are our own universe, like in the same way that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set in a parallel universe to the Marvel comics.The Ultimate Marvel Universe is set in a parallel universe to the Earth 616 continuity, right. We are our own universe from the Castlevania games. So its different. Like our timeline is different. Slightly different, but it’s no different. They could play out the same, they could play out with different characters. Characters can pop up like slightly altered because stuff played out a little differently.

I am really looking forward to what Season 2 has to offer. Any hints on what to expect in Season 2 without spoiling it?

I can say the following. Hector, Isaac, and Carmela are all in it.

In season 2, you teased new characters like the devil forgemaster. I’m also pretty sure there’s gonna be some more characters introduced throughout the season. What would be the best description of what we should expect in Castlevania?



Interview Questions By: William Hong, Max Riggenberg, Michael Spadafore, Davies Green


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