With Castlevania season 4 now streaming on Netflix, audiences are seeing the end of Trevor Belmont’s adventure. It’s also the end of a journey for executive producer and showrunner Kevin Kolde, who spent years trying to get Castlevania from video game series to screen.
Kevin spoke to Netflix Life about the history behind the TV series, what it’s meant to him to finish the show, and some of what people can expect as they stream season 4 this weekend. Read our interview before you dive into Castlevania season 4 on Netflix!
Netflix Life: You’ve spent more than a decade working on Castlevania, first as a film idea and then as a Netflix series. What does it mean to you that you’ve completed the show?
Kevin Kolde: I am immensely proud and happy. It’s been a long journey; I think [it] started in 2005 or 2006. But once we got to work on the series with Netflix, it’s been an amazing journey with some amazing creative people. I couldn’t be more proud of all of the show and the work, so I’m happy, I’m proud, I’m thrilled and excited for people to get to see the final series.More from Anime on Netflix
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NL: There’s 10 episodes in season 4, the same as last season. How did you arrive at that number for the final season?
KK: It’s a conversation. How many episodes do we want to do? What story do we want to do? A lot of it’s also driven by Netflix. What is the appropriate number of episodes? What do they feel works best for the platform? Things like that.
NL: What would you consider the highlights of Castlevania season 4? Anything viewers should particularly watch out for when streaming the season?
KK: There are so many great characters and storylines that weave their way through Castlevania, and I think they all come to interesting conclusions. I really enjoyed Isaac’s journey as a character, Dracula and Lisa—it’s hard to pick. It’s really hard to pick.
NL: One of the reasons the show has stood out is its incredible voice cast, which gets even better this season. How did you assemble such a great group of actors and what would you say they’ve brought to the series?
KK: I have to credit Meredith Lane as our casting director and voice director. She led this whole process. It just evolved. Some of the actors initially auditioned for the part; James Callis auditioned, Alejandra Reynoso auditioned, Freddy M’Cormack auditioned and others. We pursued Richard Armitage [and] Graham McTavish.
And I think people got a chance to see what the show is about after season one. That made it so much easier in subsequent seasons to get people to come on, even to the point where some actors were calling their agents and their agents were talking to Meredith [saying] look, if you have something for my client, he or she would love to be on the show.
Culminating in season 4 with Malcolm McDowell [as Varney] was just, oh my God. They’re all amazing. The show and the characters are who they are so much because of the performances. It’s unbelievable.
NL: You originally envisioned Castlevania as a film. Are there things that pivoting to Netflix and doing it as a TV series enabled you to do that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise?
KK: The movie script, or the script that became in large part the first season, was done 10 years ago. You change—you change as a person, you change creatively, your talents and abilities change. When you wrote one thing 10 years ago and then have to come back to revisit it, and re-look at it in a much different, broader way, I think you can’t help but be influenced by how much you’ve grown as a person or as an artist.
NL: The series did what many video game adaptations haven’t, which is capture the games well. What do you think made it so successful?
KK: I think there’s a few things. The goal was to make a story that everyone that was a fan of dark fantasy action would be interested in; it was never a goal to make a show that would just sit well with Castlevania game fans.
Number two, just approaching a story smartly with the characters; building characters that felt real, with real emotions and real stakes. That’s the foundation that ultimately holds it all together. You care about the characters, whether they’re the heroes, whether they’re the antagonists, they all feel real.
And there’s a story there that people are wanting to interact with. We didn’t focus on gameplay, and also…we had the privilege of being able to invent.
It’s an immense passion project with some amazingly talented people, from Trevor Morris, who does the music, to our sound design people who do all the effects and mixing… all of it’s put together and managed by Frederator Studios. And Powerhouse has done our animation. I’m immensely proud of all of them in this project. It makes me happy that people have responded as well as they have, and I honestly, sincerely hope they all enjoy the fourth season. I hope they enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.Next: 17 Netflix shows to watch and 8 you can skip
Castlevania season 4 is now available on Netflix. Seasons 1-3 are also still available to stream.