Konami’s Castlevania franchise is getting a Netflix show later this year, according to io9. Nothing much was revealed about the show except for the show name and that it would be “coming to Netflix in 2017.” The nature of the show, if it will be an anime or live action—which I’m personally hoping for—or what wasn’t mentioned.
As far as “Why Castlevania and why now?” The first part is a good question. Prior to this there were rumblings of a Legend of Zelda series for Netflix, so maybe there was some interest in a show or film on a video game series and Castlevania lends itself to the typical dark nature of Netflix dramas. As to why now, it could just be Castlevania’s time.
I know, “Of all video game series that came before it and have been successful afterwards, it’s Castlevania’s time?” Considering that Castlevania and Nintendo’s Metroid were originators of the open-ended game playing style that allow for long term storytelling, why not Castlevania? There are plenty of action packed game franchises that have film and television counterparts already. There are very few television show about gritty, old school vampire slaying. Also, we’re nearing the 30th anniversary of Castlevania’s North American release.
Castlevania is a franchise that originated in 1986 on the original Nintendo Entertainment System and was a huge hit for the console and for Konami—known for Metal Slug, Dance Dance Revolution, Contra, Frogger, Suikoden, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pro Evolution Soccer. The franchise is about a family of vampire hunters called the Belmonts and associated hunters trained by them exploring Dracula’s—once a Belmont himself—sprawling castle on a mission to defeat him.
The castle typically has all sorts of horror monsters walking about rooms and the outside grounds and allows for players to pretty much choose their own path through the castle at their own pace. Certain rooms will lead to storyline moments and boss fights. The most recent in the series are the two Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate games that came out for the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Steam in 2013 and 2015.
The popular titles in the franchise include the original Castlevania, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Super Castlevania IV. The thing about the series is that there are games that exist in alternate universes or timeline and games that are tell this 30-year old story out of order.
Given Netflix’s tendency to stealth release series with little to no hype, expect Castlevania to be one of them.