For fans of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy books, the upcoming film adaptation could not be more heavily anticipated. Security was tight on the secretive set when we visited earlier this year in London, but Fandango found a way through, and we proudly share 10 things you simply must know about this exciting new YA vampire series.
1. The film nearly didn’t happen. When the project came to producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford at the height of Twilight’s popularity, they resisted reading Richelle Mead’s books, fearing vampire overkill. When their fellow producer Michael Preger wore them down, they realised what they’d missed. “Eventually we read it, and it was amazing. We knew we had to be involved in it,” says Murphy. And anyway, vampires are immortal, adds Montford: “So there is no vampire overkill!”
2. Daniel and Mark Waters, respectively the writer and director of the adaptation, truly get the books, according to Mead. “I like to mix things. It’s not straight romance and it’s not straight adventure. It’s got funny moments, but it’s not a comedy. They really get how to mesh that.”
3. St. Vladimir's Academy is in… London, England. Fandango journeyed to University College London, the hallways and lecture halls of which provided the real-world backdrop for the school, which is set in Montana. London’s architecture simply offered the perfect backdrop for filming. “It’s my first time overseas, and I’m so excited,” says star Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), who plays Natalie Dashkov. “But we’re on night shoots and I haven’t been able to do much sightseeing. I want to do the London Eye and all the stupid tourist stuff.”
4. The bond between Rose and Lissa carries offscreen, according to Lucy Fry, who plays Lissa. “Zoe [Deutch] and I get on so well, and going through really long hours bonds you in a way that you can’t bond in normal life. You have to support each other so much and it’s really great to have her.”
5. Danila Kozlovsky likes the “mystery” of his character, Dimitri Belikov. “He listens to old music, he reads cowboy books, and he wears long trenchcoats. I would say he has an old soul, but he’s 24 years old. His mystery is very attractive.” But, he insists, finding the character was a challenge. “He’s almost perfect, and it’s hard to be like Dimitri. It wouldn’t be humble to say I’m like him!”
6. Sarah Hyland auditioned over Skype while working on a film in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “I Skyped with the casting director and it was really weird,” she told us. “The quality was not great at all. So Mark wanted to Skype with me too, and we set up a camera with someone reading with me while Mark watched and gave me direction. And that was it, no in-person audition at all.”
7. The attention to detail gets everything spot on, says Mead. “Even down to the handouts on their desk -- they’re real [Vampire Academy] assignments.” She thinks this will help sell the story on the big screen. “There are hundreds of people who’ve gone to this much work and this level of detail for my book.”
8. There are surprises in store, say the cast and crew. Even though the Vampire Academy books have been on shelves for a while, the producers revealed that they had been keeping their cards close to their chests as far as the adaptation goes, even as fans bombarded them with questions on Twitter. But one thing’s for sure…
9. The cast is keeping up with the fan base, and Hyland says she’s wowed by the support. “They come up with all this fan art of all of us, and some that I’ve seen has been amazing. We want to use the fan art for our posters! I just hope they don’t hate me when this comes out if I ruin anything for them!” From what we saw, there’s little chance of that.
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