The first trailer for Netflix’s Castlevania animated series is here and it looks surprisingly good. Officially announced in February, the series is being produced by Adi Shankar, the name most associated with the wildly popular Power/Rangers deboot that made the rounds on YouTube in 2015, and promises to be “America’s first animated series for adults,” in the producers own words from a 2015 interview.
The trailer is full of subject matter that fans would associate with the series: levitating vampires, whips drawing blood, and a whole mess of angry vampire slayers. A reboot of the NES smash hit Castelvania III: Dracula’s Curse storyline, it seems that Shankar is making good on his promises, including a mess of Easter Eggs and shout outs to the beloved 31-year-old series.
The trailer begins with homage to the days of Castlevania’s roots; an NES console, a Castelvania cartridge being ceremoniously blown, and a tube television that treats us to an 8-bit Netflix menu, complete with a list of other Netflix exclusive shows, including House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. The cursor settles on “Castlevania”, displays a brief synopsis of the series, and transitions into the animation that fans can expect to see come the series release. The trailer also seems to be touching on real life for inspiration as well; Vlad The Impaler (the historical figure Bram Stoker’s Dracula is based on), was thought to keep skeletons impaled on massive spikes outside his castle. The trailer is action packed to say the least, setting the stage for the Belmont clan to take on Dracula yet again.
The trailer looks incredibly promising, with knives being thrown, funnels of fire dancing down castle hallways, and a cast of characters being introduced in rapid succession. It definitely has the gritty, dark feel that’s been associated with Shankar’s past work, who has been working closely with series writer and co-producer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Normal) to guarantee a set tone and style.
It’s a relief to see the trailer fleshing out the series in what seems like a dependable way with the scant details we can take from it, especially in the stead of other video game to film or TV adaptations that usually deviate too far from the source material, or fall flat altogether. The allusion to real life vampire legends seems to be a promising development as well, freshening up a series that may be too convoluted in some thirty odd years of lore for newcomers. Hopefully, the series will deliver, as some of the video games in the series have a tendency to be lackluster in comparison with the series popular successes.
Castlevania will be available to stream on Netflix July 7th.