By Ruth Johnson
Urian Brown was our moderator for the evening panel; he is in VIZ Media’s marketing department. The panel was an extension of the reunion in the previous night’s panel: Graham McTavish (Dracula), James Callis (Alucard), Alejandra Reynoso (Sypha) and Warren Ellis, the series creator, were all back for a second night. They were joined by Ade M’Cormack (Isaac), series director Sam Deats and his brother, assistant director Adam Deats. The panel started with Brown forcing everyone but Ellis to put in vampire teeth and say a very long speech about how great the show is. Ellis joked that Brown was “history’s greatest monster.”
Brown asked everyone why the show works so much better than other video game adaptations—while a repeat of a question from the previous night, the answers were a little different this time and there were new additions. M’Cormack says that the characters are fleshed out, and Reynoso said it’s evident that the creators care about the series.
Callis reiterated what Reynoso said, and added that the show is “disturbing in a good way” and that it has “real meat on the bones.” It comes down to, he said, the ripping apart of society. McTavish said the greatness lies in its moral complexity.
Sam Deats said it was because Ellis did such a deep dive into the Dracula and vampiric mythology that it went beyond the adaptation. Adam Deats said that the focus wasn’t adaptation, it was to make a good show first and foremost. Ellis emphasized that it was on the project’s original producer Kevin Kolde, who wanted to make the show its own property apart from the video game.
The next question was about the cast and crew’s favorite scene. M’Cormack said his favorite scene when there’s an attempt to throw Isaac out of the Oasis. Reynoso said that her favorite scene was a key action sequence for Sypha with great music. She also noted Alucard and Dracula’s final scene together in Season 2, which the other panelists agreed was one of their favorites. The Deats brothers highlighted the final sequence of Season 2, which they said brought nearly everyone who worked on it to tears.
Ellis highlighted the scene where Carmilla (Jaime Murray) tortures Hector (Theo James), mainly because Murray started giggling when pantomiming it in the recording booth. He said remembering that always makes him smile “and cross my legs.”
Brown then asked how Ellis and the Deats brothers got involved with the project. When Ellis was offered Castlevania as a potential writing project, he immediately accepted and then said “what the blank is Castlevania?” He noted that Castlevania’s Wikipedia page is enormously detailed, but also highlighted the great work fans do on sites celebrating the games and the legends behind them.
Adam Deats said that when the project came to Powerhouse Animation, he audibly gasped because he had been such a big fan of the video games growing up, and he told his boss that Powerhouse had to be on the project, if possible. Sam was asked about how the clever fight scenes are designed; he answered that the fights are determined by the abilities of the characters in a given scene and the space the fight scenes take place in which influences just how clever they can be.
There were some joke questions after that, and the panel was asked about their favorite horror movie, with most of them admitting that they don’t really love horror (but they do love Castlevania). Ellis mentioned that he loved Hammer horror films and was honestly writing one for himself with Castlevania. The Season 3 clip was shown; it was funny, but offered no real insights into the next season.
Here, we would typically say when Castlevania will be released next, but again, it wasn’t announced. Pretty much nothing was announced at the panel, so all that can be said is this: Castlevania has a third season. It’s coming, we know that, but when is a mystery. However, Castlevania Season 2 is coming out on Blu-ray/DVD on November 5, 2019. If we have anything definite to look forward to for our favorite vampire animated series, it’s that.