Netflix’s Castlevania Season 5 TV series is the next logical step now that that vampire hunter Trevor Belmont’s chapter is coming to a close. But considering that Konami’s video game series offers a plethora of options for a Castlevania sequel (or prequel), which Belmont will be featured?
During Netflix’s Geeked Week in June 2021, Netflix confirmed that Castlevania Season 5 will feature new characters Richter Belmont (a descendant of Sypha and Trevor) and Maria Renard. The new episodes will be set in France during the French Revolution in 1792… which corresponds exactly to the Castlevania: Rondo of Blood video game!
Warning: The following paragraph contains a potentially major spoiler.
Every Castlevania video game fan knows what that means based on the official timeline. The ending of Rondo of Blood directly sets up Alucard’s return in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night!
In our exclusive interview with Castlevania executive producer Kevin Kolde, Monsters and Critics asked whether there would be a “new series with new characters set in the same universe?” In response, the producer revealed that they’re “definitely looking at continuing the Castlevania universe.”
Separately, Netflix representatives confirmed to Monsters and Critics via email that the continuation will “likely be an entirely new series, with a new cast of characters set in the Castlevania universe.” Before the official announcement was made, Netflix specifically emphasized that the next project will not be a Castlevania spin-off. (And it’s not since Rondo of Blood is in the official Castlevania timeline.)
Anyone who has watched Castlevania Season 4’s ending might be scratching their heads at this point since many things now need to be explained. Without getting into too much of a spoiler, the final scene introduced a completely new story arc for Dracula, the central character of the entire franchise, so it’ll be interesting to see how they will connect this new direction to existing video games without resorting to a quasi-spin-off or at least a remake of the Rondo of Blood story.
Of course, neither Kolde nor Netflix could not get into any specifics about Netflix’s Castlevania sequel/prequel considering that the fourth season just came out on May 13, 2021. Still, in the future, they assured us that they’ll be happy to discuss the details.
The unnamed Castlevania project hasn’t been given an official title yet, so for the purposes of this news story it will be referred to as Castlevania Season 5.
While Kolde could not name which character Castlevania Season 5 might feature, he also mentioned that his favorite Castlevania character is currently Trevor Belmont. Still, he admits, “If we do another Castlevania series, I may have another favorite Belmont, but for right now, it’s definitely Trevor.”
The question then becomes: which Belmont will Netflix’s Castlevania Season 5 feature? To answer that question, we’ll need to consider the official Castlevania timeline in Konami’s video games series.
- Updated June 13, 2021: Netflix confirms story arc for Castlevania Season 5.
- Updated May 11, 2021: Netflix confirmed new Castlevania project.
How will the Castlevania sequel recreate Dracula’s backstory?
In the past, Castlevania producer Adi Shankar claimed his team built a “multi-year plan” that will be “building a much larger narrative,” which builds into the Belmont’s multi-generational fight against creatures of the night.
“I want to do all of it. I want to keep telling stories because, ultimately, Castlevania is a universe; it’s a story about this family. It’s about generations of this dope [Belmont] family,” he said in 2017. “Each generation has their own problems has their own little nuances, and they’re dealing with the realities of the time period that they’re living in.”
The official Castlevania timeline was initially created as a reference point for the game developers of Symphony of the Night. The many, many Castlevania games jump around a lot in the timeline, telling the story out of chronological order.
In fact, the first four seasons of Netflix’s Castlevania animation reimagine both the NES classic Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse, the sixth installment in the overall franchise, and the PlayStation 2 game Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, which is technically the third game in chronological order.
The Castlevania sequel is taking the story of Dracula in a completely unexpected direction and will likely need to build up his backstory. Therefore, it’s possible that Castlevania Season 5 could use flashbacks based on the PlayStation 2 game Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, the first game in the timeline.
Referencing the Castlevania prequel has two major benefits. We know that by the time of Trevor, the Belmont family of vampire hunters had fallen into ruin. Castlevania Season 5 could show us the tragic tale of Leon Belmont and how the Belmonts’ eternal struggle against evil began in relation to the current events.
Warning: The following paragraph contains a major spoiler regarding Castlevania Season 4’s ending.
Castlevania Season 1 was especially emotionally powerful due to the opening episode’s depiction of Dracula and his wife, never mind how Castlevania Season 4’s ending provided an apparently happy ending for the couple with a second chance at life.
Castlevania Season 5 flashback scenes could also show audiences how Dracula Vlad Tepes became the King of the Night and flesh out this character even more, which could then be used as a bridge to explain what happens to Dracula and Lisa in England in the future after the events of Season 4.
New Castlevania sequel skips over Christopher Belmont, Simon Belmont, and others
If Castlevania Season 5 had progressed the story completely chronologically, then the next obvious choice would be Christopher Belmont, the main protagonist of the Nintendo Game Boy game Castlevania: The Adventure and Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge. Christopher’s story is set 100 years after the events of Season 4 in 1572.
But Castlevania 5 is setting the clock to 1772, an even 300 years later. That’s a requirement since the legend of Dracula declares, “Once every 100 years, when the faith in God is forgotten, Dracula will come back to life.”
This time gap is due to an old decision by the Konami game developers, who decreed that Dracula resurrects once every hundred years. Then the newest generation of vampire killers goes on a quest to put Dracula down for another hundred-year dirt nap.
“That was a bad decision,” Castlevania game developer Koji Igarashi said back in 2007. “Since Dracula only appears every 100 years, we made the whole timeline and ran out of places to put in another game. I made the timeline, but I shouldn’t have actually released it because now it’s all official.”
In the recent interview, we asked producer Kolde what he thought about the Christopher Belmont Castlevania character. In response, Kolde spoke about the character in the context of a new Castlevania TV series.
“I like Christopher Belmont. I like all of the Belmont characters. I think that you have to judge a question like that in terms of the context of the question. Do I like him enough to make him the focus of a new series of Castlevania? It’s hard to say, right?” Kolde said. “We wouldn’t necessarily have him like Trevor, you know, to be that character. Again, it’s about context. I like the game. I like him as a game character and, perhaps, I’ll guess we’ll see.”
The fact that the Netflix series is not strictly chronological is both a positive and a negative. On the one hand, the Game Boy video games’ plot is paper-thin since the only major characterization is the dynamic between the protagonist and Christopher’s son, Soleiyu Belmont.
The positive aspect could have been that there is plenty of room for creativity in fleshing out the characters without offending the video game fanbase too much. In this case, there is plenty of wiggle room for flashbacks since the showrunners now have to connect the dots between how a happily resurrected Vlad Tepes goes back to being the King of the Night again after 300 years.
The same plot issues are present with Simon Belmont’s story in the original NES game and its sequel, Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest. If Christopher’s story is thin on characterization, then Simon’s story is practically skeletal, so the Castlevania writers would be required to mold flesh on those bones.
Unlike Christopher, the Simon Belmont character is considered iconic, so it would be odd for Netflix’s Castlevania sequel to skip that particular Belmont generation with at least one flashback scene. Since the decision was made to skip multiple generations (including Juste Belmont from Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance), the only reason would be due to Alucard, who still needs closure according to his father.
Netflix Rondo of Blood/Symphony of the Night TV animation could continue Alucard’s story
Audiences may love Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnades, but they’re human and cannot survive the rigors of time. It’s also Adrian’ Alucard’ Tepes who tops the Castlevania character popularity polls.
The first four seasons put a lot of screen time into developing Dracula’s son, especially in the third season. So it would sense to bridge a connection with the Castlevania sequel by creating a Symphony of the Night TV series featuring Alucard.
The 1997 PlayStation 1 game is considered a classic in the overall series. The story is set in 1797 so Castlevania Season 5 (which begins in 1792) would open by explaining why Alucard would need to awaken after a 300-year slumber to investigate a growing evil.
SOTN is actually a direct sequel to the 1993 Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, which features Richter Belmont and Maria Renard. Since Richter and Maria are also main characters in SOTN, Richter’s story from Rondo of Blood would be the starting point that begins to unfold the mystery.
A radio drama even provided a direct sequel to SOTN. Called Akumajou Dracula X: Tsuioku no Yasoukyoku, the story is set one year after SOTN and would provide a fitting end to the character’s story arc.
It’s notable that Netflix representatives specifically mentioned that the new project will have a “new cast of characters”. However, a continuation in the form of a Symphony of the Night TV show definitely requires Alucard’s return.
When producer Kolde was asked which Castlevania game was his personal favorite, his first response was about Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Producer Adi Shankar has said the same on his Facebook page, and when he was asked in an interview about making a Symphony of the Night TV show, he said he couldn’t wait to adapt the story into an animation.
At the same time, Shankar referenced Castlevania character Soma Cruz rather than Alucard when talking about SOTN.
“Anything could happen. I don’t want to spoil it because, obviously, everyone loves Symphony of the Night. I think that a very much underrated character is Soma Cruz,” Shankar said. “When you look at the story of Soma Cruz, and really what we’re doing here, the difference between the gaming universe and the Castlevania cinematic universe, we are adding emotional depth, and to extrapolate from Soma Cruz there’s a lot to unpack there — and I’m not spoiling it, I’m just saying I personally just really dig Soma Cruz.”
Of course, Soma Cruz’s story takes place in 2035, and it will be many years in the real world before the cinematic Castlevania universe will reach that point in the game timeline. But if there are enough animated sequels, it’s possible that particular story could be animated by real-life 2035.
Castlevania: Warren Ellis claimed not to be involved in new Castlevania project
Kolde has been working on the Castlevania animation for a very long time. Back in 2007, Kolde involved writer Warren Ellis, who is also an executive producer, but it wasn’t until Adi Shankar, and Netflix became involved in 2015 that the project began to enter its current form.
In 2020, writer Ellis faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment and coercion. In response, Ellis released a (now deleted) Twitter statement which said that he had “made many bad choices” in his past but also said that he “never consciously coerced, manipulated, or abused anyone.
“It had never really occurred to me that other people didn’t see it the same way—that I was not engaging as an equal when gifted with attention, but acting from a position of power and privilege. I did not take that into account in a number of my personal interactions and this was a mistake and I own it.”
In April 2021, a Deadline report asserted that Ellis “has had no further involvement in Castlevania” and “has not been part of the conversations about a potential new show which likely won’t include him as a creative auspice.”
The Deadline report was not backed up by an official statement, nor did it cite a source. When Monsters and Critics asked Kolde about the Deadline report on May 10, 2021, he responded, “In terms of the new [Castlevania] series, when we’re ready to officially talk about a new series, then we’ll talk about the creative team. Who would be involved in it at that time is just premature right now.”
Let’s just hope that the wait for the Castlevania Season 5 release date isn’t too long. Stay tuned!