It's official: Castlevania's showrunner, Adi Shankar, is performing a Devil May Cry show, as the next part of what is called the "bootleg multiverse." After weeks of mockery, Shankar made the announcement today through IGN, and we are incredibly excited.
When we talked with Shankar a little later about Castlevania and his Bodied movie, we asked the showrunner about how he approaches video game adaptations. Obviously, we expected to get information on how to approach your next program, which at the time was rumored to be an adaptation of Zelda. Although it turned out to be Devil May Cry, we were not disappointed.
"Absolutely, there is a philosophy I have [making game adaptations], and boosted the shorts of my Bootleg Universe, "Shankar said. Bootleg Universe is Shankar's YouTube channel with unauthorized short stories featuring pop culture characters such as Punisher, Power Rangers, and Mr. Rogers.
"Those were made because I was a fan of the thing," he said. In addition, he hired others for those projects that were fans of the franchise and his characters, or the genre that was working for each short. Shankar's movie Punisher Dirty Laundry, for example, is essentially a western one, so the people who worked on it included both Punisher fanatics and westerns fanatics.
"So I understood through this process and I had this epiphany a few years ago, that there was this great business dichotomy between the features and the fan movies," said Shankar. "Fan movies were real and fun and amateur service and they do the best possible way." And he decided that it should be the norm: "the idea that fanatics make it, for fans. I think this is a basic component, in fact it is one of the most important components."
"Now, that may seem very obvious," he continued. But it is not. Shankar shared that he was supposed to make an adaptation of Castlevania in 2012, shortly after the well-received Dredd film this year, in which he served as an executive producer. But that version of Castlevania was very different from the Netflix show that fans love. "It was not the script, it was not the team, it was not part of the same people involved, and it was a live action Castlevania," said Shankar.
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"That version of Castlevania would be closer to the Underworld series or the Resident Evil series," he continued. "And it became clear right away that the thing that was used here was the title of Castlevania … the idea was to bring this audience completely different from the core that loved the games."
Then you have to be a fan of the game to do the justice of adaptation. But that does not mean that you can not change anything. This is clear when you look at Castlevania. The Netflix show uses elements from Castlevania III, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, and much more. It remixes and significantly changes the source material, expanding on the characters and altering the story. But keep the spirit of games alive, and that can be the real key when it comes to adapting Devil May Cry.
"I do not think he is a player, I as a player, we are not saying:" Hello, do not change anything. It has to be exactly the same, "said Shankar." In fact, we want things to change, right? You mean, look at things like the Tomb Raider movie that just came out, which was basically a shot for the game remake: we want things to change, we want different things. But only true fans will know that they have changed and that has not changed. Only a true follower will know what are the beats that are significant and which are the latex that are not significant. "
In spite of its success adapting the games until now, Shankar admitted that there is no correct way to do it. "There is no model on how to do it, because they are all so different," he said. "In the same way that there is no way to adapt a book because there are so many different types of books, there is no way to adapt a video game because they are different stories, they are different worlds and different things are important in different universes."
The Devil May Cry series has a rich history that includes several iterations in its characters, places and more. If Shankar approaches the DMC show as Castlevania did, it is probably inspired by different games over the years, although they have a unique story. And if it's something like Castlevania, we're eager for that.