Netflix’s animated Castlevania was better than it had any right to be. The (very loose) adaptation of the 1989 NES game Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse was extremely funny, had some cool monsters, presented an interesting not-Europe fantasy world, and contained some of the coolest fight scenes I’ve seen in ages.
But the newest recent season arrived under a cloud. Creator, writer, and comics icon Warren Ellis saw his reputation plummet after being accused by multiple women of abusing his fame to deceive women into sexual relationships. Executive producer Kevin Kolde quickly cut ties and moved forward without Ellis on a new Castlevania show based on the games Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night.
Producer Adi Shankar isn’t happy about this, as he’s been excluded too, and he is suing Kolde for breach of contract. Shankar’s legal team argues that Kolde “concocted a scheme to expand the Castlevania universe while simultaneously cutting Shankar out of the Agreement the parties made — and boosting Kolde’s profits. … Shankar was never consulted or even informed of the new spinoff series.”
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Shankar goes on to say that an oral agreement means he should be locked into any future spinoffs, that he is entitled to creative approval, and 33% backend compensation. I suspect what’ll prove the key phrase here is “oral agreement” — and if it turns out there’s really nothing on paper saying this he may not have a leg to stand on.
In the meantime, fans are cautiously optimistic about the new show. It’ll be adapt two of the most highly-regarded Castlevania games and will feature Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnades’ descendant Richter, Maria Renard, and immortal vampiric warrior Alucard. Let’s hope they reference some of that classic Symphony of the Night dialogue.
As the fanbase for the show builds, fingers crossed Konami gets the message and give us some more Castlevania to play as well as watch.