Movie Stars and Gossip
Have you ever wondered what it takes to launch a film franchise? Richelle Mead’s popular Vampire Academy book series is becoming a movie next spring with Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, starring Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, and Danila Kozlovsky. BFTV sat down with Richelle to ask how you translate hugely successful novels to the big screen and what it’s like to be in the same genre as phenomenons like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.
Could she have ever envisioned that there would be an adaptation? “No, and I didn’t believe it even when it was first talked about a couple of years ago,” she laughed. “There’s a lot of talk in Hollywood, a lot of books are optioned and nothing ever happens. It has just been kind of mind-blowing. They’ve actually got such a dream team for me – Mark Waters, the director and Daniel Waters, the writer, who are big favorites of mine. I’m just thrilled.”
It’s more than she expected when she said ‘yes’ to the project. “Authors, it’s a sad fact, we have a very small role in this,” she explained. “When you sign away your rights, you really do sign away your rights. The best you can hope for is that you trust the people you’re getting into business with to do a good job.
“The production company [Preger Entertainment], they got involved with Vampire Academy out of love. They read the books and were just captivated. And that’s reassuring to me as an author. It wasn’t someone who took it simply as a business deal. Even though no one ever has to talk to me again as the author, they do, which is great. Mark would email me about ‘Is XYZ okay for costumes? What about this?’ The fact that they were concerned with my input is just another great sign that they do care about the story.”
Richelle visited the set of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters recently, and told us how the film compares with what she envisioned on paper years earlier. “I had a real quick, two-day trip there. It was all impressive,” she said. “What surprised me is how they took the story I came up with and made it ten times bigger.”
She cited the filming of a classroom scene as an example. “To see a room that I had maybe described in a brief paragraph fleshed out and brought to life to the tiniest detail…They had gone to so much trouble just to put everything in that room. The students had handouts for their assignments on their desks. I don’t think those are even going to show up in the film. Everything is just so meticulous, so planned. They wanted to bring this world to life.”
If you haven’t seen the teaser trailer for Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, look below.
While the Vampire Academy books have a passionate fan following, if you haven’t read them, Richelle gave us plenty of reasons why you’ll still enjoy the movie. “I think it isn’t something people have seen before,” she said. “There’s certainly very serious heart-pounding action moments, but it’s got attitude too. There’s snark, there’s humor. There’s very complex character growth.”
“If that appeals to you, going to the books is just going to give you the full background in all of that,” she added. “The movie really is just kind of a sampling. Everything that they touch on, go back to the books and you’ll see all that spelled out even more.”
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