Castlevania: Nocturne - Everything You Need To Know

It's been a couple of years since Netflix's acclaimed "Castlevania" series finished its four-season run, but fans are finally getting more with the upcoming sequel series "Castlevania: Nocturne." Like its predecessor, "Nocturne" is an adaptation of the "Castlevania" video games from Konami, though the new show will take place much later in the franchise timeline.

If you're unfamiliar with the games, you might wonder how "Nocturne" intends to continue a story that wrapped up so completely at the end of "Castlevania" Season 4. However, the long lineage of Konami releases has left a huge pool of additional material for Netflix and Powerhouse Animation Studios to work with. There's a decent chance that "Nocturne" could have as long of a run as its predecessor, as new protagonist Richter Belmont has been at the center of multiple major "Castlevania" games. But that will all depend on how the show's first season is received.

Read on for a deeper look at the cast, story, and production of "Castlevania: Nocturne" to see what the new series may have in store.

When will Castlevania: Nocturne be released?

For those who've been waiting years for more in the Belmont vampire saga, your wait is almost over. Netflix has announced that "Castlevania: Nocturne" will be released on September 28, 2023. However, there are still a lot of details about the season that have yet to be revealed.

Primarily, we don't yet know how many episodes the new series will be. The original "Castlevania" show varies greatly in the length of its seasons, with Season 1 having only 4, Season 2 having 8, and both Season 3 and Season 4 stretching to 10 episodes apiece. Given that this is a direct successor to that show, which clearly proved itself and its value to Netflix, 10 episodes seems like the natural guess for "Nocturne" as well. For now, though, we don't know for sure.

Regardless, it won't be long before fans can find out and binge the series for themselves at the end of September.

What is the plot of Castlevania: Nocturne?

The first "Castlevania" series takes place in the late 15th century, following Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, and Alucard as they battle Dracula and other evil vampires across Eastern Europe. "Nocturne" is changing things up a good bit in its setting, jumping ahead all the way to the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century. In those 300 years, generations of Belmonts have lived and died, including original game protagonist Simon.

"Nocturne" appears to be using "Castlevania: Rondo of Blood" as its main source of inspiration, just as the preceding series used "Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse" and "Castlevania: Curse of Darkness." "Rondo of Blood" is the first game to feature Richter Belmont and places him in the starring role. In it, he ventures into the depths of Dracula's castle to save his love Annette and distant relative Maria Renard from the dark lord.

Both of those supporting characters have been confirmed for the animated series, which means that a lot of the story is being kept the same. However, early footage and reveals have also hinted at some big changes. Dracula himself has yet to be announced, and given his characterization in the Netflix series as a more sympathetic and tragic figure, it might not make sense to bring him back in the main villain role. Instead, vampire queen Erzsebet Báthory — based on a real Hungarian noblewoman with a dark and contested history — will be the main antagonist of "Nocturne," leading her kind on a mission to fulfill a vampire prophecy and take over the world.

Who is starring in Castlevania: Nocturne?

"Castlevania: Nocturne" stars Edward Bluemel as Richter Belmont. The English actor is best known for playing Hugo in "Killing Eve," Marcus Whitmore in "A Discovery of Witches," and Captain Harville in the 2022 adaptation of Jane Austen's "Persuasion."

Maria Renard will be played by fellow U.K. talent Pixie Davies, who you may know as Annabel Banks in "Mary Poppins Returns." Davies has also had prominent roles in the sci-fi series "Humans," playing Sophie Hawkins, and "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," in which she plays Bronwyn. "Nocturne" is far from her first major voice role, as she's previously played Adele in "The Magician's Elephant" and various characters in "101 Dalmatian Street." Thuso Mbedu, known for playing Cora in "The Underground Railroad" and Nawi in "The Woman King," will voice Annette, rounding out what appears to be the new core trio.

The supporting cast is filled with veteran actors, such as "Reservation Dogs" and "Dark Winds" star Zahn McClarnon as Olrox, the vampire who kills Richter's mother. Stage actor and "Hamilton" alum Sydney James Harcourt plays Edouard, and Golden Globe winner Nastassja Kinski ("Tess," "Paris, Texas") plays Tera — both allies to the main three. Rounding out the main cast is German star Franka Potente as the evil Erzsebet Báthory. Potente is probably most famous for starring opposite Matt Damon as Marie in the "Jason Bourne" movies. She's kept quite active since then, most recently playing Mother Mayhem in the live-action DC series "Titans."

Who is directing Castlevania: Nocturne?

Like the first Netflix "Castlevania" series, "Nocturne" is being animated by Powerhouse Animation. Powerhouse's Sam Deats will return as well to serve as the primary director of the new series, alongside his brother and frequent collaborator Adam Deats.

If you're a fan of the first show, then that should all come as great news. Sam Deats is credited as the director of practically every episode of the original series, so the approach to pacing, character design, scene-building, and action sequences should be very similar in "Nocturne." And of course, the return of Powerhouse as a whole means that the visual style of the sequel will be essentially the same too, channeling all the anime sensibilities and flamboyant magic effects that fans have come to expect.

Though the story is leaping centuries away from the first show, it's comforting to know just how similar the team handling the direction and animation is. With luck, that winning recipe will help "Castlevania: Nocturne" catch hold of the same fire.

Who is writing and producing Castlevania: Nocturne?

While the animation and direction of "Castlevania: Nocturne" are being handled by the same core team as its predecessor, bigger changes have popped up on the writing and producing side. Warren Ellis, the creator and head writer of the original series, was ousted before Season 4 even aired in the wake of numerous sexual misconduct allegations. As a result, "Nocturne" has a new head writer in Clive Bradley.

Bradley may not be a name you instantly recognize, but he has decades of screenwriting under his belt — most of it in British TV. His biggest project to date is the popular Icelandic mystery series "Trapped," which he co-wrote from 2015 to 2021. Bradley's other past works include episodes of the limited series "City of Vice" and the TV movie "That Summer Day."

On the producing side, Bradley joins Fred Seibert and Kevin Kolde, both of whom worked on the original series. Former showrunner and executive producer Ari Shankar is not involved with Nocturne, but there's still lots of shared DNA in the production room.

Is there a trailer for Castlevania: Nocturne?

The debut teaser trailer for "Castlevania: Nocturne" is a beautiful, dark, and twisted glimpse into Richter Belmont's world. The trailer opens with a fight between Richter's mother and Olrox, a vampire from the video game "Symphony of the Night," who kills her in an act of vengeance. Olrox opts not to kill the young Richter — still just a child — but promises that he will "one day."

We then jump forward to the French Revolution, which appears to be coinciding with a rise in overall vampiric activity. Richter, now a young adult (he's 19 in "Rondo of Blood" and may be here as well), faces off against a horde of evil bloodsuckers with Annette and Maria by his side. During a frenetic montage of brutal action set pieces, a foreboding narration prophecies the arrival of a "vampire messiah." This figure — alluded to be Erzsebet Báthory — is apparently destined to plunge the Earth into darkness.

This appears to be the meat of the story in "Castlevania: Nocturne." Richter, Maria, Annette, and their other allies will battle Erzsebet and her forces, who are using the chaos of the French Revolution to promote their own global conquest. It's worth noting that Richter seems to be a much more emotionally open protagonist than Trevor is in "Castlevania," which fits with his younger age. It should be interesting to see how all of these different pieces come together when "Castlevania: Nocturne" is released on September 28, 2023.

What will Castlevania: Nocturne be rated?

If there was any doubt that "Castlevania: Nocturne" would be every bit as bloody and brutal as its predecessor, the first teaser trailer put it to rest. The original series is one of the most visceral animated series you can watch, with gruesome battles and plenty of nudity to make it clear it's not a show for kids. From the look of things, "Nocturne" is following firmly in that lineage.

In the trailer footage alone, we see vampire heads sliced in half, bodies chopped up by magical spells, and a number of other gory scenes. The adult material looks to extend beyond just visual grotesquery, with many of the central characters having experienced intense trauma as well.

Richter's path in life seems to be strongly determined by his mother's death. As the Belmont champion before him, he surely wants to follow in her footsteps and avenge her murder. According to Netflix Tudum, several of the other characters have similarly painful backgrounds. This version of Annette escaped from slavery in the Caribbean, and vampire hunter mentor Tera apparently has a troubled past as well.

All of that is to say that, like the show that came before it, "Castlevania: Nocturne" isn't for kids. It's an adult-oriented dark fantasy saga with intense depictions of violence and oppression, so beware.