If you’re liking the look of that upcoming Castlevania series on Netflix, there’s good news: the same producer is now set to tackle Assassin’s Creed.
Adi Shankar announced the news in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning:
I’m happy to let you guys know that I’ve selected my next project! I played the first edition of Assassin’s Creed the year I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream. At that moment I knew absolutely no one in the industry and could never have imagined that one day Ubisoft would ask me to take the world of Assassin’s Creed and create an original story set in it as an anime series. If anyone tells you not to follow your passion in life they are wrong.
That’s all Shankar had to say. There’s no sense of how far along this project is — or if work has even begun. But it’s happening, and with Ubisoft’s blessing.
Castlevania — which also leans on an art style reminiscent of anime — comes to Netflix on July 7. We know that series takes a page from the games: it follows Simon Belmont, a vampire hunter, as he faces off against an army of monsters commanded by Dracula.
Assassin’s Creed will no doubt do that same thing, though which source Shankar draws from remains to be seen. There’s a loose canonical chronology guiding the Assassin’s series, but not all works are created equally.
Ubisoft’s 2016 movie, for example, effectively re-wrote many of the series fictional trappings while sticking the the core "Assassins vs. Templars" conflict. And in a few months from now, Assassin’s Creed Origins — which is set in ancient Egypt — will codify the beginnings of that conflict in a game that also re-thinks many of the series’ core rules.
Speaking as a fan, this is great news. Last year’s movie featured some beautiful cinematography and choreography — as well as a largely coherent plot (something that has eluded Assassins games in the past) — but ultimately it suffered for setting out to tell a story that was too big for a two-and-a-half hour movie to capture.
Netflix has the ability to eliminate that problem. We don’t yet know how many episodes there will be or the running time on each one, but the episodic format alone should help to de-mystify some of the deeply nerdy sci-fi embedded in Assassins stories.
I think it’s also smart for this to land with a streaming service rather than cable TV. Young people in general are quicker to embrace cord-cutting, and I’d wager that gamers are among those leading the charge. Given the ubiquity of Netflix apps on current-generation gaming consoles, this feels like a good fit for the audience.
Now we just need to see if Ubisoft can deliver where 2016’s movie fell short. Even without having seen Shankar’s Castlevania treatment, there is reason to be hopeful. He also served as executive producer on a number of top-tier Hollywood productions, including The Grey, Dredd, and Lone Survivor.