News

Castlevania Showrunner Adi Shankar on Why His Video Game Adaptation Is Fresh (When Others Are Rotten)

Famed fan-film producer also shares his five favorite games.

by | July 31, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Jenny Brez)

Netflix animated series Castlevania recently broke a Tomatometer record, as the only video game adaptation to have a Fresh rating. So we decided to ask showrunner Adi Shankar how the curse was lifted.

“Rotten Tomatoes determines a lot for me personally as to what I watch and what I don’t watch, so that was a big moment in my life, man,” Shankar told us about receiving news of Castlevania‘s achievement. “Bigger than a high school graduation or a college graduation.”

At 32, Shankar is exactly the right age for someone to wax nostalgic over a Castlevania show, especially one that adapts the classic third NES game, 1989’s Dracula’s Curse. He also knows what it feels like to spend decades getting burned by lackluster video game movies.

“We are of that generation who were lied to and mismarketed to,” he said. “It’s about growing up and watching things that you love being disrespected and going, ‘No, when I get the opportunity, I’m not going to f— that s— up.'”


(Photo by Netflix)

So how did this series gain critical and audience acceptance in an era of Angry Birds and Resident Evils (they made seven!), and even when Castlevania‘s own creator Konami has all but abandoned making new games?

“It comes from being a fan,” Shankar explained, which makes sense considering he produces some of the highest-budgeted fan films around, including The Punisher: Dirty Laundry (starring Thomas Jane), Judge Dredd: Superfriend (he produced the 2012 Karl Urban movie), and Power/Rangers, a mordant Saban spoof with James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff.

“This is something that was made for fans — actually made for fans, not at fans,” he continued. “The struggle for a lot of people adapting video games is they aren’t gamers. They don’t actually like the thing. A lot of dudes go, ‘What do kids like? Video games? OK, cool, get me a video game with a built-in fan base — that means they’re going to show up opening weekend to my movie.’ Nah, dude. They’re not going to show up. In fact, they’re going to go online and make fun of you for desecrating the thing they love.”

Castlevania was not “made from a place of ego. That’s the difference. There were no suits involved,” he said.

After revealing that he actually likes games more than movies, Shankar shared his five favorite games:

  • Metal Gear Solid (“Psycho Mantis reads your memory card!”),
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night,
  • Mortal Kombat III (“MKII on steroids!”),
  • Halo 2,
  • the 1992 X-Men arcade game.

Castlevania season 1 is available to stream now on Netflix, with an eight-episode second season already greenlit. Shankar is also currently at work on an Assassin’s Creed anime series for Netflix.


Tag Cloud

DC streaming service MSNBC toy story sitcom Writers Guild of America Western Reality Competition Cartoon Network A&E Certified Fresh San Diego Comic-Con Peacock Acorn TV mutant Chernobyl Freeform cinemax Lucasfilm spinoff First Reviews TV Land Cannes sequel Trophy Talk game of thrones canceled TV shows animated Animation Apple TV+ Superheroes Super Bowl Opinion RT21 YA spanish language war Emmys TCA CW Seed Rocky DGA 45 Fantasy Comedy Central Interview children's TV Amazon what to watch Ellie Kemper Film Festival hispanic History golden globes supernatural Tarantino cancelled Thanksgiving DC Universe National Geographic Winners miniseries Rocketman TruTV cancelled TV shows Nominations Warner Bros. transformers Elton John Red Carpet ghosts Tomatazos Comic Book TIFF series spain festivals Heroines finale Calendar CNN foreign Marathons witnail Reality crime drama Syfy zombie 2015 Grammys APB politics cats TLC Oscars movies Brie Larson talk show serial killer Fall TV social media IFC Films strong female leads Britbox Pixar Superheroe Year in Review CMT Trivia PBS TV 21st Century Fox MCU casting Biopics Fox News E3 PaleyFest hist Photos Star Wars binge ratings CBS 24 frames NYCC sports Musical Character Guide Arrowverse Bravo TCM Polls and Games TNT teaser romantic comedy Tumblr Dark Horse Comics Lifetime Masterpiece Martial Arts Chilling Adventures of Sabrina quibi Creative Arts Emmys The Walking Dead latino robots space Nickelodeon WarnerMedia science fiction halloween Women's History Month theme song comic Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trailer Mystery Universal composers cancelled TV series Ovation HBO Extras psycho Shondaland 2017 Mary poppins Mudbound Marvel Pride Month Song of Ice and Fire Summer Action Film GLAAD Watching Series travel USA Kids & Family Awards Star Trek HBO Max Sony Pictures Television Academy 007 Teen GoT Musicals streaming thriller The Witch The CW OWN BET SundanceTV Vudu Comics on TV kids period drama VH1 Drama Rom-Com biography GIFs blaxploitation Lionsgate doctor who Sci-Fi Paramount Network See It Skip It zero dark thirty Starz historical drama Premiere Dates slashers game show ESPN DC Comics LGBT renewed TV shows singing competition BBC America based on movie SXSW 2016 Sundance Now FX adaptation spy thriller 71st Emmy Awards El Rey NBC nature Infographic green book Pop discovery docudrama Walt Disney Pictures SDCC dc Set visit FXX tv talk cops RT History anthology comiccon Valentine's Day Epix free movies Adult Swim video 20th Century Fox E! Awards Tour dragons WGN Music Cosplay crime thriller YouTube Premium Pirates Rock Amazon Prime Video 2019 Mary Tyler Moore cooking revenge Columbia Pictures zombies First Look south america Sundance The Arrangement Esquire Binge Guide Quiz Pet Sematary CBS All Access cancelled television American Society of Cinematographers Mary Poppins Returns BBC Stephen King FOX psychological thriller LGBTQ 2018 Sneak Peek Best and Worst anime justice league stand-up comedy police drama true crime YouTube Emmy Nominations vampires book Spike Logo political drama richard e. Grant President Family mockumentary MTV Apple Captain marvel Spectrum Originals Showtime Podcast VICE spider-man Hulu DirecTV Holidays Disney Channel medical drama jamie lee curtis Disney streaming service Video Games Spring TV TCA 2017 New York Comic Con television adventure IFC joker The Purge AMC Election Netflix technology Country ABC crossover Comedy Christmas batman Countdown award winner Winter TV YouTube Red Schedule unscripted aliens Toys facebook Shudder ABC Family diversity crime TBS USA Network romance Black Mirror harry potter Amazon Prime ITV canceled Disney TV renewals cars Box Office breaking bad boxoffice X-Men cults dramedy elevated horror disaster Nat Geo Disney Plus Anna Paquin natural history Mindy Kaling Crackle Paramount Horror Food Network dceu Ghostbusters