James Wan recently let it slip that he was attached to a live-action Castlevania movie; his career proves he’s the perfect choice for this movie.
James Wan revealed he was temporarily attached to a Castlevania feature film; he’s the perfect director for the job even though the video game franchise hasn’t come to life as a live-action movie yet — here’s why.
Many video game franchises tackle undead monsters, but Castlevania has become a staple of the industry. The ongoing saga of the Belmont family against Dracula and his evil army is the perfect material to get the feature film treatment. Although he’s yet to tackle vampires, James Wan has turned into one of the biggest filmmakers in horror, and has built an incredibly eclectic career that has embraced many different varieties of genre filmmaking since he started. Wan has not only had a hand in the creation of popular horror franchises like Saw and Insidious, but he’s also built his own connected universe of movies that stem from the success of the subversive haunted house movie, The Conjuring. All of Wan’s work has helped him become one of the most ambitious and exciting voices in the film industry, so if anyone was going to properly tackle Castlevania, it’d be him.
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Many of Wan’s most memorable projects are within the horror genre, but he’s also created some massive action blockbuster movies like Furious 7 and Aquaman. Wan is a director who has shown a repeated affinity for the action genre. He also manages to maintain that same level of artistry through the set pieces that he creates, whether they revolve around scares, fight sequences, or car chases. Wan is known for blending horror and action sensibilities because they’re the style of movies that speak to him the most. Wan recently shared some unused monster designs for the demonic Valak from The Conjuring 2 on social media, which went hand-in-hand with the news that he was at one point attached to direct a Castlevania movie. The project never came to pass, but Wan is absolutely the best person for the job.
Valak’s Demon Nun appearance in The Conjuring 2 struck such a nerve with audiences that it earned its own spin-off movie, The Nun. However, Wan’s original approach for the demon was a much more traditionally gothic monster, which was apparently the same approach for his take on the powerful vampire, Dracula, for his proposed Castlevania movie. Wan’s representation of Dracula looks Satanic in nature, and more like a demon than a fashionable vampire. Castlevania is a series that’s full of classical monsters, so it’d be genuinely exciting to see Wan’s unconventional approach for Castlevania’s large bestiary of creatures. Some of the aquatic monsters in Wan’s Aquaman feel like they could be out of Castlevania as well, and give an impression of what his interpretation of the material might have looked like, had it come to pass.
Wan knows how to expertly balance both action and horror; Castlevania is one of the franchises that’s most emblematic of this particular mix of genres. Wan has such love and respect for both of these areas, which is the main reason why he’d make sure that both aspects got their due recognition in a Castlevania movie. Another name that has been floated around for a Castlevania feature film is Paul W.S. Anderson, who has a notable reputation with video game adaptations, in particular his Resident Evil movie franchise. Anderson could no doubt handle the task, but much like his other projects, it would likely prioritize the action rather than horror, which was an often-heard critique of later Resident Evil sequels.
The opposite would be true with Wan, which is what’s necessary for a proper take on Castlevania. It’s not just another action series with monsters. As James Wan has created some deeply terrifying monsters for his many movies, and seems to have his finger on the pulse of what would work for a live-action update of the popular video game franchise, it’s a shame that he didn’t get to do the same with Castlevania.
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