After four seasons, Castlevania has finally come to a conclusion and one that is largely satisfactory for most of the characters. Before we jump into this interview with executive producer Kevin Kolde, it’s important to remind people that there is a dark cloud over the series due to the fact that Warren Ellis, Castlevania‘s writer, and creator, had major sexual misconduct and coercion accusations come out against him from over 60 women and nonbinary people last July right as he was finishing up writing Season 4.
With that in mind, although it’s fair to say that this final season ultimately ended the show on a high note, it can be difficult to separate Castlevania from Ellis’ looming shadow. And while there’s nothing concrete to share on the future of the universe, any stories in the future will likely include an entirely new cast of characters and continue without Ellis’ involvement. When discussing this with Kevin Kolde, he referenced the Konami game series as a resource for future storytellers.
“I can’t give too much away, I would not say that this is the end of the Castlevania, this is the end of the story for these characters, at this time. Castlevania, the game series, has a rich array of characters and storylines going from prior to this time period into the future and the 2030s,” Kolde said, going on to say that the primary focus was to first finish this story and give a conclusion to the current cast of characters. “We’re going to look to the Castlevania universe to tell some other stories that I think people are going to be excited about. That’s really all I can say at this point. Plenty of time to talk about those things in the future.”
As for the series, which has spanned four seasons and 32 episodes, Kolde says that they had always planned for the story to play out in four seasons. “We always were eyeing an ending story in the fourth season so even as we built season three and built towards season four, we had a roadmap in mind of how we were going to do that.” He added that the main challenge when it came to the series was the format of an animated series. “Typically shows like this in live-action [have] the hour-long 44-50 minute dramas, and in animation, we have 22 to 30 minutes to do the same thing so it’s a little trickier,” Kolde explains.
“We had a luxury of sort of building out the action in Season 3 and having in our mind what we wanted to do and how we wanted to wrap things up in Season 4,” Kolde says when asked about how they have expanded the universe throughout the run of the show. “It’s hard, everyone has to be careful and track and make sure that we’re not missing things, and things hook up, and work together, but we try to plan it out as best we can early on.”
Warning: The following section includes mild spoilers for the end of the series.
When it came to the story from a character point of view, although the seasons have grown to include many new characters, we did return back to the point-of-view of our main three characters, Alucard Tepes (James Callis), Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso), and Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage). For Alucard, after experiencing multiple seasons of trauma, some viewers feared he’d take a darker turn in this final chapter of the story, especially since the final shot of him was returning back into Dracula’s castle after impaling the twins Sumi and Taka on his front lawn after they betrayed him. “I think, Alucard, he’s had a lot of trauma, right? I mean, from what happened to his mother, to having to kill his father, to what happened with him in Season 3. I think he wants to have that connection,” Kolde says.
“He’s always self-aware, I don’t think he was proud or happy with what happened in Season 3, I think it was a difficult situation that he found himself in and he reacted in a way that he probably wasn’t necessarily thrilled about. [But] he finds his way back, and that starts with being needed. It starts when Greta (Marsha Thomason) reaches out for him to help them and he sort of finds his way back to his human side.”
And after two seasons of being separated from each other, with Alucard making adorable Trevor and Sypha dolls to keep him company (RIP to those dolls), the final fight of the series saw the trio reunited, each at the height of their power. Kolde describes the season as both an ending for the characters, but also a beginning for them. “Sypha and Trevor have an ending, a happy ending, and have a happy beginning, and so does Alucard.”
“Yes, they are reunited,” he laughs, teasing that they had almost decided to release the image of the trio back together in the trailer but ultimately decided against spoiling it. “It was almost in the trailer but we said, ‘No you can’t put it in the trailer.’ People have waited, we’ve made people suffer for two seasons without Trevor and Sypha and Alucard together so when they do get back together, it has to be a big moment.”
At the end of the day, the conclusion for Castlevania, a rather tragic story for most of its run, found a hopeful ending. “I think that Castlevania is, in a lot of ways, a much more intelligent show than people who maybe haven’t watched it give it credit for,” Kolde said. “Its characters are real and I think, ultimately, they feel real, and their conflicts feel real. I think, at the end of the day, that’s a major reason why the show resonates with people because they care about those characters. It’s not just wooden, cardboard, standard good versus evil, right? I mean, everyone has conflicting motivations in what they do and I think that’s one of the reasons that the show is so special.”
While it’s still unsure what the specifics are when it comes to future stories within the Castlevania universe will be (though we can assume that the Belmont name will continue on, given the story of the game), it seems clear that Netflix intends to move on from Ellis and continue on in this exciting world; good news on both fronts.
Castlevania Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.