Devil May Cry: The Animated Series’ Story Will Be Told Over Multiple Seasons, Stars Dante and Vergil
Adi Shankar, the producer behind Netflix’s acclaimed Castlevania series and the recently announced Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix, has revealed some more details about his upcoming anime series based on Capcom’s Devil May Cry franchise.
“The season 1 scripts are done,” Shankar told IGN Japan in a new interview. “They are rad. I could not be more excited.”
The scripts have been written in collaboration with Alex Larsen, who wrote the screenplay for the feature film Bodied (produced by Shankar and Eminem, among others) and who has more recently written on the Netflix anime series Yasuke.
Shankar explained that Season 1 will include “eight episodes”, but that the story will not conclude there: Just as with Castlevania, he is planning a “multi-season arc”, meaning that it will unfold over multiple connected seasons.
While Shankar would not reveal specific story details, he confirmed that several DMC franchise favorite characters will appear. “I can confirm that Vergil is in it, as well as Lady, and of course Dante as well,” he said.
“I can also confirm that Chris Pratt won’t be voicing any of the characters,” Shankar joked. Pratt has recently been cast as the lead in high-profile animated movies based on both Super Mario and Garfield.
Shankar commented that working with Capcom on this project has been “a dream”.
“The entire team both from the management side and the creative side have been so incredibly supportive and gracious,” he said. He has been working directly with Hiroyuki Kobayashi, a veteran producer at Capcom who worked on the original DMC and Resident Evil games, as well as 2007’s DMC Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, produced by Japanese animation studio Madhouse.
“Kobayashi-san has been wonderful,” said Shankar. “It’s seriously a joy to work with Capcom. Their character library is unlike anything assembled.”
“I can also confirm that Chris Pratt won’t be voicing any of the characters.”
The DMC anime was first announced by Shankar during an interview with IGN in November 2018. He said then that he had acquired the animation rights for the DMC IP himself, “so that the jabronies in Hollywood can’t f**k this one up too”.
Shankar has maintained a fiercely fan-friendly approach across all of his projects to date, and Castlevania has been acclaimed by many (including IGN) as one of the best videogame adaptations of all time. When asked how he is able to protect the integrity of the games he adapts for TV, Shankar replied that it requires passion and an open mind, explaining, “Just like there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to adapting a book to a movie and just as there is not one right way to make a cover song, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to adapting, translating, or expanding games into another medium.”
In the case of Castlevania, he attributes part of his success to timing, as he feels the market was ripe for authentic adaptations of classic games – and indeed, the success of Castlevania has triggered a landslide in quality game-to-TV adaptations. He sees this as part of a cultural shift in which the public have demanded more faithful treatment of their favorite franchises, just as the cost of producing video content has fallen and the process has been democratized by digital distribution.
“Castlevania had a team of people top to bottom who were fans of the IP and wanted animation to be taken seriously as a medium and not just a genre,” said Shankar. “In 2017, when we launched Season 1, it felt like a fight to be noticed or even acknowledged by the mainstream. The fact that Castlevania has generated not only a spin-off but a has essentially sparked an entire vertical of adult oriented animated content for Netflix is insane. This is a case of right place right time, and I’m honored that I got to be a part of this ride.”
Shankar is also working on an animated series set in the PUBG universe. When asked for an update on the progress of that show’s production, he simply replied, “It’s being fast-tracked, lol”.
Shankar’s own Bootleg Universe has mixed a wide variety of renowned franchises (with and without permission) as his personal sandbox multiverse, and when he first announced his DMC series, he said that it would be a part of “Bootleg multiverse”, but gave no further details. Regarding his PUBG show, Shankar confirmed to IGN Japan that it will not cross over with any other franchises.
Another Shankar series currently in production is Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix, which is loosely based within Ubisoft’s synthwave-inspired Blood Dragon universe that originally stemmed from the Far Cry series. Shankar said during the announcement of Captain Laserhawk at Netflix Geeked Week 2021 that the show was partly influenced by 1980s cartoon show Captain N: The Game Master. Long before the MCU, Captain N was Nintendo’s own cinematic universe, featuring characters from NES hits of the day such as the Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Kid Icarus, as well as Konami’s Castlevania and Capcom’s Mega-Man.
“I loved Captain N as a kid,” said Shankar when asked how the classic show has influenced his approach to shared universes in general and on Captain Laserhawk specifically.
“I loved the concept of a kid getting sucked into a videogame world. There were a lot of parallels between Captain N and the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon of the same era. I guess, despite it being critically panned, Captain N was a success because it stuck with me and influenced me to create something with my memories of it.
“To be clear the final product of Captain Laserhawk that is being made by the fantastically creative folks over at Ubisoft and the dragon energy animation studio Bobby Pills will bear little resemblance to Captain N. I simply like to cite inspirations.”
Devil May Cry will reportedly go into production in early 2022, and no release date is yet confirmed.
Daniel Robson is the Chief Editor of IGN Japan. Follow him on Twitter right here.