Netflix’s Castlevania series producer says, ‘If you like Dredd, you’re going to love this!’

The Castlevania animated series is coming to Netflix this year and we couldn’t be more excited! It’s based on the video game series from Konami featuring the Belmont family as they battle Dracula. Adi Shankar, the man behind the dark Power/Rangers and The Punisher: Dirty Laundry short films, is the producer and co-showrunner of the Castlevania miniseries with Frederator Studios (Adventure Time) working on the animation. Comic book writer Warren Ellis is attached as the writer for the first and second season. (The second season is coming in 2018.)

NR: The series is premiering in 2017, but when is the exact date?

AS: “I don’t have the exact date for you this year,” producer Shankar tells Nerd Reactor.

Frederator Studios has worked on cartoons like Adventure Time, which has a very unique style. Shankar couldn’t reveal much about Castlevania‘s art style and said that “it would be more powerful” to release the actual images from the animated series. We’ll just have to wait and see once they come out. “It is R-rated as f***,” said Shankar about how mature the series is going to be. “This is like Judge Dredd level art. If you like Dredd, you’re going to love this. Tonally it’s very similar.”

Shankar has mentioned before that the series was going to be based off of Castlevania III, and with it coming out this year, that’s still the case. “It’s one of the dope ones. It’s like if we’re doing a Mortal Kombat movie, right? You and I both know we’re not going to start with Mortal Kombat 1. You’re going to start with Mortal Kombat 2 or 3.”

He goes on to explain why he opted for animation instead of turning it into a live-action series. “I grew up outside of the United States, and outside of the United States, animation for adults is a thing. It exists,” he said. “For here for whatever reason it doesn’t. When it does exist, it’s mainly comedy. America needs its Akira. America needs its Ghost in the Shell.” That doesn’t mean he’s excited about the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johansson. “No,” Shankar replied when asked if he’s looking forward to the upcoming film.

“It’s that Gods of Egypt level of callousness by which it was approached. [That] is the problem. I watched the trailer. Everyone’s watched the trailer. It was amazing. It’s unfortunate that the film is finally getting made in a time when this became a hot button issue. It’s an issue that has been a long time coming. Look at Jackie Chan. You grew up in Hong Kong, and Jackie Chan is a badass. Jackie Chan is Liam Neeson, but in America, he’s a comedy actor. There’s a systemic lobotomization of the masculinity of Asian men and women, to a large degree. Ghost in the Shell, unfortunately, is feeling the brunt of that.”

“I think we’re in a transitional period,” Shankar said. “A lot of [things are being] put on race right now… race politics. Eventually that has to go away and we have to stop talking about it. When someone is making a Superman movie and a Batman movie, personally I don’t think we need to go in assuming that they’re both white characters. Sure they’re white in the comics. [Superman‘s] an alien, so why is he a white guy? I think eventually we’re going to have to move past all of this. [The younger generation is] already doing it. I see it as a backlash against people who procured power in entertainment in the late ’80s and early ’90s. They’re kind of doing their thing and making their stuff. The young people are going, ‘WTF, man! This does not reflect the world we live in.”

We’ll definitely keep you updated on the Castlevania animated series as we hear them. Stay tuned for the Season 1 to release later this year, with Season 2 coming in 2018.

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John Nguyen
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