Adi Shankar has had an impressive career up to this point. He can be described as a next-level personality in all capacities, including as a creator, writer, director, actor, content creator, show-runner, and producer to name a few roles. His projects range from Netflix's animated Castlevania series, working on an animated adaptation of Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix, based on the Ubisoft game set in the Far Cry series, as well as planning an animated version of PUBG.
Most recently, while at the Cannes Film Festival, he unveiled his latest project, the animation/live-action hybrid superhero satire show, Guardians of Justice, for consideration and judging in the Canneseries competition. It appears that Shankar has his finger on the pulse of both society and culture. With so many successful, artful, and meaningful projects under his belt, and many more to come, the TechRaptor team wanted to dive into the mind of Adi Shankar.
Adi Shankar's Video Game Adaptations
With an extensive resume of upcoming projects, we knew we had to try and get Shankar to give us a few insights into a few of his video game projects, at least the ones he was willing to give us some details on. Assassin’s Creed has no updates to reveal, but Hyper Light Drifter has something exciting going on in the works there. Currently, he is about to start scripting for the upcoming PUBG project based on the popular video game franchise that just happens to feature 55 million gamers playing daily. Shankar also revealed that he is working very closely with the team at Krafton Inc.
"I meticulously beat out the entire project so that part's done. We're about to start scripting. When you have a detailed brief, it just does," Shankar said. "And we've locked in someone who we feel is the perfect writer for my vision of the project. So we have an ambitious timeline to get this out there and share it with the world. And it's not just me, right? Because just like Ubisoft has an entire film and TV team, PUBG has a PUBG Universe Team."
Last, but definitely not least, we wanted to see if there were any updates to Devil May Cry, the series that Shankar announced back in 2018. At the time of the interview, he said the script has been completed and production should be starting early next year.
"My Devil May Cry series has to be as visually inventive as the games are," he said. "And I'm going for the esthetic that captures beautiful chaos while being an ode to Capcom. I want kinetic energy. Like it's got to have its own sleek aesthetic and bombastic identity. And a project only gets to that level of layered richness if its creator meticulously pours their soul into every step of the process. And that's what I've done. And that's what I intend to keep doing on this project."
Shankar further explained that the delay was because he wanted to project to "be developed by DMC fans for DMC fans," which only makes us more excited to see what he does with the series, especially given the rumors that it may focus on Dante’s brother and nemesis, Vergil.
With Shankar having been given creative freedom on numerous projects, a trend started to develop where there were more diverse characters who pushed the envelope in terms of what the typical audience is used to seeing. When asked about Dolph a character in Blood Dragon, a character who is clearly trying to break the model of the stereotypical white male '80s action movie star and how important representation is, Shankar said:
"I don't think about these things. Like when I'm coming up with stuff, it's like coming from either a cellular level. There's something going on. I'm not kind of like trying to algorithm it. To the extent where I'm like, OK, so I want this one diverse element and this other diverse element, literally, that does not cross my mind. But it's happening subconsciously. And I think that is what will probably make Dolph so much more authentic in the long run as a character that represents. On the flip side, you're so frustrated by the lack of feeling, seeing, or having yourself represented on TV that you decide to like make your own content and put yourself in it as an adult."
Representation in media is something that is always important but at times not discussed, and some things get missed. There is going to be a whole new audience that is going to discover Shankar's depiction of characters such as Far Cry’s Captain Laserhawk and see themselves represented for the very first time.
One of the most inspiring things about Shankar is his refreshing candidness about his own struggles with mental health, especially anxiety. And with so many projects on the go, the pressure from fans of franchises he brings to life, and the craziness of work-life balance, he really communicates how he manages when struggling with mental health. He says that mental health is very important to every individual, and when dealing with a difficult period of time, there are ways to manage it, learn from it, and thrive.
"And I would even add to that it's not just that everything happens for a reason, go into everything, assuming that it's not just happening for a reason. It's happening for your benefit. Like this thing fell through and didn't happen or that person left your life. Not for a reason, it happened for you," Shankar said. "And that's where the magic happens. Because you're constantly approaching life now with the silver lining and you're constantly approaching life with the silver lining of gratitude. And that attracts more of that. The energy that you put out is kind of the energy that is completely reflected, it's completely reflected back at you."
The TechRaptor team and Shankar discussed output perspective and how individuals should not get married to a result, which can be very difficult to do, but "if you spend minutes, hours, days, months, years worrying about some of this stuff, it's not going to help. What it's going to do is attract more of your minds like a magnet. So it's going to attract more. Worry and anxiety, right, so then it becomes like a cycle." At times, it can be difficult to even realize that you are stuck in that cycle, and it can be hard to even get out of.
"For me, another tool or another cheat code I that I got was that you don't become like this without battles. Right, because you got to earn this. And the ultimate battle with the demon, the demon isn't out there, the demon's in here, and everyone has their own demon, their own insecurity, their own voice that's telling them that they're not good enough or that they're this or framing kind of creating a reality distorting narrative around them," Shankar said. "And it's as simple as thanking that voice for protecting you, but releasing it and saying, I don't need you anymore. Because that's what a lot of these things are, mechanisms that we create, these prisons we create to keep ourselves safe."
Another thing to look at and take note of are your responses to things, and there are readily available tools. Shankar suggested things such as acupuncture because your body can hold onto past traumas in a physical form, and there is a mind, body, spirit, and soul connection - a powerful one. It's even something as basic as meditation or the posture that you give. Focus on the little things that you do to help feel more in control or empowered in life. Being more aware of your mental health and clarity can really aid in a number of ways.
Ending on the importance of mental health was the perfect way to end the discussion with Adi Shankar, who not only is a multitalented creator, director, writer, and more, but he is also someone who deals with mental health issues just like everyone else. We hope you've enjoyed this article, and we thank Shankar for taking the time to share his thoughts with us.