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

robots Grammys Comedy Central VH1 Sony Pictures Christmas FOX Polls and Games Walt Disney Pictures X-Men History Rocky Tumblr Mary Tyler Moore cooking harry potter crime thriller festivals Music Disney TruTV APB Writers Guild of America DC Comics MSNBC social media Super Bowl TV El Rey Sundance Now TIFF Sneak Peek Cosplay The Arrangement CNN Disney Channel romance Biopics SDCC Fall TV sports boxoffice Action WGN supernatural Trailer DC Universe ABC ITV Countdown Awards Kids & Family Lionsgate Animation vampires Starz Election Hulu Masterpiece historical drama Box Office crossover binge golden globes Superheroe Mystery Netflix Trivia Mindy Kaling Columbia Pictures Spring TV cults comiccon GoT NBC 24 frames Nickelodeon American Society of Cinematographers FX DC streaming service streaming unscripted YA E3 police drama technology 45 Schedule cinemax war docudrama diversity Country Western Red Carpet Certified Fresh Star Trek Calendar talk show IFC BBC America Lucasfilm Amazon discovery Ovation YouTube Red 2017 Creative Arts Emmys Horror Extras CW Seed Logo Tomatazos travel USA Network Year in Review Comic Book Photos Musical TCM Musicals MTV Dark Horse Comics science fiction medical drama Superheroes Shondaland Watching Series SXSW Character Guide TNT ABC Family Set visit politics dc See It Skip It Syfy E! justice league The CW dramedy 2015 Reality Competition Sci-Fi PaleyFest NYCC 007 Interview A&E Cartoon Network 20th Century Fox Martial Arts serial killer USA Fox News transformers Nominations Podcast TV Land Britbox Paramount Valentine's Day 2016 BET First Look political drama Video Games Star Wars Best and Worst Adult Swim Thanksgiving ratings ESPN Marathons composers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Paramount Network VICE DirecTV psycho President TBS RT History Oscars Showtime hist Winners aliens National Geographic Premiere Dates TLC Universal CMT Holidays GLAAD Rom-Com zombies Comedy singing competition OWN Reality Lifetime based on movie SundanceTV dceu HBO what to watch LGBTQ Bravo TCA PBS Drama Acorn TV Crackle Fantasy zombie Teen Nat Geo Ellie Kemper AMC sitcom Infographic Summer Freeform Opinion FXX GIFs CBS Ghostbusters crime drama period drama Esquire crime Toys TCA 2017 IFC Films Pirates biography spy thriller Warner Bros. Marvel Apple cats mutant Pixar BBC adventure Rock Food Network Emmys cops Pop Winter TV CBS All Access thriller Sundance 21st Century Fox Spike finale