NYCC ’13 exclusive: “VAMPIRE ACADEMY” will have more bite than “TWILIGHT”


When the filmmakers and cast of The Weinstein Company’s VAMPIRE ACADEMY descended upon New York Comic-Con this past weekend, the trailer they presented emphasized the film’s sarcastic humor. But when Fango landed an exclusive interview with director Mark Waters and scripter Daniel Waters at the show, they affirmed that their movie will pack genre appeal beyond that of a certain other youth-oriented fanged franchise.

Given that Mark scored with the edgier-than-usual high-school comedy MEAN GIRLS and his brother Daniel made his name with the caustic cult classic HEATHERS, it’s no surprise that when Fango asks if VAMPIRE ACADEMY (opening February 14) will offer more to horror fans than the TWILIGHT films did, Mark responds, “Well, we actually have real action in our movie, and our lead character [Rose Hathaway, a half human/half vamp played by Zoey Deutch] is a key purveyor of the action, unlike being a sweet ingenue like [TWILIGHT’s] Bella was. Rose is a bad-ass, and does a lot of butt-kicking, both of the evil vampires—the Strigoi—and also other guardians and mercenaries and things throughout the movie. So there’s some very cool stuff in there.”

“We’re making it kind of like John Hughes with fangs, in a weird way,” Daniel says, “with a subversive twist. And if you like dead animals, we have a lot of dead animals! There’s also sexuality that I would say is a little more perverted and crazy than you would see in TWILIGHT.”

Although that Comic-Con preview, as well as the theatrical trailer issued this past summer (see it below), are heavier on the John Hughes than on the fangs, Mark notes that this was very much by design. “There’s way more of an action and drama and mystery-thriller orientation in the movie than there is in the trailer,” he notes. “However, we feel that a lot of the other movies of this type that have come out recently tried to emphasize their thriller cred [in the previews] and wound up looking sleepy and boring. We have wit and humor and some subversiveness to our movie, which I think makes it distinctive and interesting compared to the other things out there, but believe me, there’s no shortage of action. We did amplify the Strigoi in this movie from where they were in the first book [in the series by Richelle Mead that inspired the film], so you get more Strigoi appearances and action than you do in the novel.”

And the duo say that you’ll see even more of that if they have a chance to adapt Mead’s follow-up stories. “The Strigoi are much bigger parts of the other books,” Mark says, and Daniel continues, “They’re more of a looming threat. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to do the other novels. I mean, I would say the first one is the least FANGORIA-friendly of the books, but if we get to do the second one, you’ll put us on the cover!”

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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