The new Netflix show “Castlevania” is a surprising delight.
The show is based on the game series of the same name, most well-known for beguiling children in the late ’90s with bad translation from the original Japanese. Moreover, the last major game in the series dropped back in 2014, and it was received pretty poorly by critics.
All of this is to say one thing: “Castlevania” isn’t exactly a hot property just waiting to be adapted to TV and film. It’s got its fans, sure, but it’s no “Uncharted” (for instance). And that’s just part of why it’s so amazing that the new “Castlevania” show is so good. We’re talking about a video game adaptation after all — a genre littered with failures, from “Double Dragon” straight through to the “Super Mario Bros.” themselves.
Beyond just being good, the new “Castlevania” show is a success.
It’s such a success, in fact, that Netflix has already approved a second season of the show and doubled the episode count from four to eight. “It’s a blessing that they greenlighted season two right before one dropped,” Adi Shankar, showrunner for “Castlevania,” told me in an interview last week. “Because they were like, what you guys created is awesome. Then they doubled it, which is even more amazing.”
So, what’s next for “Castlevania”?
Without spoiling the events of the first season, Shankar spoke to the big picture. “I know what the story is. I know what the beats are. I can say that it’s gonna be more expansive than [season] one,” he told me.
Season two will no doubt see the return of Dracula, Trevor Belmont, and many others — it’s unclear how their fates will play out. Shankar’s looking at broad strokes; he sees the first season as foundational, and the second season as a means of diving into the world he and his team created. “We’ve had the opportunity to create this language — it will be fun to deconstruct it at some point,” he said.
That said, Shankar’s plans are certainly more definitive than he’s letting on. “I’m not a fan of the make it up as you go along type of storytelling,” he said. “There is a master plan for the show.”