EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has ordered eight episodes of Heaven’s Forest, a Ramayana-inspired epic animated action drama series from Castlevania creator Warren Ellis, executive producers Adi Shankar and Kevin Kolde, and Powerhouse Animation (Castlevania, Seis Manos, Gods & Heroes).
Written by Ellis, Heaven’s Forest is set in an Indo-futuristic world, with storyline and characters inspired by the Indian mythology of the Ramayana.
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Ellis executive produces with Shankar and Kolde. Powerhouse Animation will produce as the animation studio.
“I am delighted to be partnering again with Netflix, my Castlevania comrades, and the Indian creative community, to create this surreal, mythic narrative filled with life and heart,” said Ellis.
The Ramayana, one of the largest ancient epics in world literature, follows Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana with the help of an army of monkeys. It is traditionally attributed to the authorship of the sage Valmiki and dated to around 500 BCE to 100 BCE, according to a description by the British Library.
“My whole life I’ve dreamed of seeing Hindu mythology represented in international media,” said Shankar. “My culture’s stories are spectacle-filled fantasy epics in lavish aesthetic and we’re going to bring it to the global stage.”
“This is a great time to be working in animation and to be a fan of animation,” added Kolde. “It’s exciting to be given the freedom by our partner Netflix to push the boundaries of the art form to explore and tell diverse and mature stories to audiences around the world.”
Author and prolific comic book writer Ellis developed, writes and executive produces Castlevania, the dark medieval animated series which is set to launch its third season on Netflix. He also penned the comic series Red, which was adapted into the feature films Red and Red 2, and also penned the “Extremis” story arc of Iron Man, which was the basis for the 2013 Marvel film Iron Man 3.
Shankar executive produces Castlevania. His other credits include Gangs of Wasseypur, The Grey and Killing Them Softly. Kolde executive produces Castlevania and produced Adventure Time, Bee and Puppycat and Costume Quest, among other credits.