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Movie Press Conference

Blood Promise
Hi guys! Sorry for the radio silence and not having a book club post up today. Things have been a little crazy with my son being sick, The Fiery Heart due on Monday, and some stressful things going in my personal life. So, I don't have a ton of time, but I wanted to take a minute because lots of rumors and news have been going around about the Vampire Academy movie, and I wanted to address those as best as I'm able. Which brings me to the first one...

How much say does an author have in a movie?
On paper? Not much. This is standard across the board, no matter what stories have gotten around about Stephenie Meyer approving a script or JK Rowling screening actors. We have to think of it this way. I'm not paying millions for people to turn my books into a movie. They're paying millions of their own money, so it's understandable they'd want to be very involved in the decisions. They know about making movies. I know about writing books. We each have our thing, and I'm very happy to let Preger Entertainment and their team do theirs, which is why I signed with them in the first place. I totally believe in them and support everything they've been doing.

That being said, Preger Entertainment and their team have been AWESOME about keeping me in the loop and asking my opinions. Do I get ultimate say? No, but they've shown me script and actor choices and asked for my opinions, which is so cool because believe me when I say, a lot of authors don't get that consideration. I'm super lucky.

Is the title changing?
Sort of. It's more accurate to say the title's getting an addition. If you've read past interviews with me, you might know that Vampire Academy wasn't my first choice for the book. I actually sold it as Kissed By Shadows. People at my publishing house weren't sure that title would work for a few different reasons, and eventually, we decided on VA since it's so memorable. When the movie came around, the production team had some concerns about that title, though. For one thing, there's a lot of other "vampire" stuff out there, and we want VA to stand out. Don't believe me? I get constant emails from people saying they love the Vampire Diaries because they get mixed up. The other thing is that VA isn't exactly an accurate title. It makes it sound like it's more about school. If you're a fan of the series, you know that in the last half of the series, they're hardly at school at all. The big focus of the series is Rose and Lissa's bond and ESPECIALLY Rose and Dimitri's relationship. That's what makes this stand out from other vampire books, so it was decided that VA would stay the movie series name but that the first movie would get a more distinctive title.

The team asked me for ideas, and I gave a few name suggestions that they considered. Blood Sisters is a title that other countries use who don't want the first book and the series to have the same name. It's a name I liked, and the team liked it too. It emphasizes the bond and will hopefully appeal to new fans. Because here's the thing: the more successful this movie is, the more likely it is that more can be made. An awesome movie will go nowhere if no one comes to see it. So, VA is the name of the franchise, and each movie gets its own name. This is Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. If it's a hit, and we move on to the next one, that'll be Vampire Academy: Frostbite. Does that make sense? No one's tryig to diss me or the series in this process, and I assure you, we'll still hear "Vampire Academy" tossed around plenty--just like when Fellowship of the Ring came out, I went and said, "Give me a ticket for Lord of the Rings."

Is the script totally different from the book?
No. I was actually blown away when I saw how true it was to the story. Seriously, it's awesome. I have no idea where this Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri triangle rumor came from, but it's NOT true, unless they completely rewrote the script in the last month. Rose and Dimitri have eyes for each other, and Lissa and Christian are kissing in the church. The only differences are very minor things--like in The Hunger Games, where Prim gives Katniss the mockingjay pin. Is that what happened in the book? No, but it streamlines some things, saves them from hiring an extra actress, and doesn't affect the main plot. Rest easy, there are no crazy changes, like werewolves attending the school or Rose and Christian discovering they're long lost siblings. Although, that last one might be hilarious.

Seriously--the script is great. They've given Dimitri lines that are going to make you swoon, especially in the lust charm scene.

What about the cast?
If you haven't heard already, the cast is Zoey Deutch as Rose, Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri, and Lucy Fry as Lissa. Reactions are all across the board. Some people love them, some are worried. Some love only one actor, some love another. Here's the thing: there is no cast everyone will love. It's impossible. I could download the characters from my mind, and I'd get hate mail saying they were all wrong. :) The casting agency worked very hard in choosing these actors, and I think they did a great job. I have it on good authority from friends who've worked with the lovely Zoey Deutch that she's an amazing actress. And I think it's awesome that they chose a Russian for Dimitri! I mean, I wouldn't know the difference, but I'd hate it if real Russians saw the movie and were like, "That guy is obviously fake." As for Lucy Fry, she certainly looks the part, and it's fun that she's Australian, since that's one of VA's biggest fan bases. The international cast reflects VA's international following.

One more thing to consider about the cast. None of us witnessed the casting process. Only the movie team did, and they didn't just pick pictures off IMDB. These actors were screened, auditioned, read the script, did action scenes, and had to do a lot of other stuff to prove themselves. We didn't see that. The movie folks have and made decisions because they saw something awesome in this talented trio. Remember when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss, and people were ready to riot? Then the movie team dyed her hair and gave her a bow, and she was awesome. That's how this is going to pan out too, except no bow. I'm sure they'll grow out Danila's hair, though.

Will this movie ruin the books?
Um, no. The books are the books. Even if this was the worst movie in the history of movies (and it won't be, not with the talent involved in writing, directing, and acting in it), no power will go in and rewrite the books. They're the canon, the original, the truth, and I'm still continuing their story. If you love them, you'll keep loving them. The movies won't change that. Movies are an awesome opportunity for us to see these scenes and people come to life, and I'm extremely supportive and excited to see what the team is going to pull off for us!

Bottom line
This process is still very, very young. Keep calm, and have faith. There's good stuff ahead! And whatever your thoughts are on the movie news, I want you to know that I understand people have such strong opinions because they love the books so much. And you can't imagine how much it means to me that the books I work so hard on can have such a huge emotional impact on you and are so important to you. Thank you for loving them as much as I do.

I really, really hope this helps clear up some confusion! I wish I could write more, but I'm exhausted from some late nights with my son. Those of you who have written with excitement about the actors--thanks so much! And those who are worried--just hang with us and see. :)

For the latest news and articles (because there are certainly tons of them now), check out the Official Vampire Academy Movie Facebook Page.


( 72 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
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Feb. 2nd, 2013 05:48 am (UTC)
This is so very exciting, Richelle! The initial casting looks great imo and your words about the script make me feel better about it all. Congratulations on some movement being made on this. I can't wait to buy my tickets! :D
Feb. 2nd, 2013 05:51 am (UTC)
SO SO excited it's going to be a movie!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 05:55 am (UTC)
I can't wait!!! I hope it's just as awesome as the books!!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 05:58 am (UTC)
I TRUST you guys completely. I LOVE the main-trio. They look the part and I'm already watching some of their videos. Gotta say Danila is a FANTASTIC actor. Plus, he's RUSSIAN. ;)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:01 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for clearing things up love! It truly means a lot. I'm so excited to see this movie come to life, and to finally hear from you regarding it! I love you! Enjoy your nights with your son lol ♥
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:01 am (UTC)
OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!

You have no idea about how much I love the series! When I first heard of the actors I started seaching about them and I liked a lot!!!! And now you said "Seriously--the script is great. They've given Dimitri lines that are going to make you swoon, especially in the lust charm scene'' ok, you kind of killed me with this!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to post all of this information. I am so excited about this movie and I know and believe they are doing everything in their power to make the best movie possible (why would they not?? as you said they are spending the $$$ here, they have no reason not to do it the best possible!) Seeing the actors pictures I actually think they really nailed the looks of Rose and Lissa. And Dimitri will be great once his hair is long and we HEAR his ACCENT - we will all be in love!!! Thank you!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:14 am (UTC)
I already said it, but it's worth saying again.

I was kind of disappointed about how fans reacted to Josh Hutcherson's casting as Peeta. They were not nice. And he ended up overshadowing Liam Hemsworth in the final version of the movie. No one can know for sure why this or that actor got the part, but it must be because they're good. Have faith, you guys.

I personally love the actors! They look like I imagined them. Maybe not so much the actress that plays Lissa, but I agree with what you said. There must be a reason they cast her, and she must be good so I give her my vote of confidence.

Rose! So pretty! I like Zoey! I really, really do. And I've read Margaret Stohl gush about her for moths now, so she must be really good at her job. I'm a happy camper!

And Danila! Oh. My. God. Seriously. There aren't that many pics of him yet (I'm sure that will change in the next few days) but from what I saw, he IS Dimitri. He's got that tough look on him that garantees me passing out. And also his smile.. So sweet *sigh*

I'm so excited. Start making gifs of them already, people-smart-enough-to-know-how-to-make-animated-gifs! I demand animated gifs! ASAP!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:17 am (UTC)
I was terrified about having a VA movie come out because I was worried that the casting would be really off. I'm Russian and I have seen so many American actors play Russians and speak with horrible accents and butcher lines terribly to the point that I could not understand what they were saying "in Russian" without subtitles. I was really worried the actors would be really really off or something would be horrible.

But I am now really excited! I like the actors and I'm so psyched they picked a Russian actor - really happy about it. They're not necessarily all the way I imagined them but they're definitely not way off or anything (and they fit age-wise too, that doesn't always happen!). I am also happy that you are in the loop and excited about it, that makes me feel like it's going to be great. Since you're so happy with it, I know I don't have to worry about it (and I only did because seriously VA and Bloodlines are my all-time favorite series and I did not want the movies to be misrepresenting the story :) )

Best of luck with everything!

Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:28 am (UTC)
I am so excited!
I like who they've chosen as the main 3. I was also wondering if they cast Adrian and Christian yet. And if so, can you tell us who it is? Love your books and I can't wait until the indigo spell comes out!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:46 am (UTC)
Re: I am so excited!
Adrian actually won't be in this movie. Because he isn't introduced until the second book.
Re: I am so excited! - (Anonymous) - Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
I don't like who will be playing Dimitri, I always pictured a really hot guy. But I will go see the movie just to see how it comes out, just hope they don't ruin it
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear the script is like the book, I really hate it when the movies are totally different! (My Sister's Keeper, anyone?)but the
casting seems good, can't wait to see who's playing Christian!! .
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:33 am (UTC)
Really excited! Personally, I never get an exact image of characters when reading anything but I have an idea, and the cast is great! It's awesome that you've been able to be as involved as you are, and that only makes me have more faith in the production. :)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:34 am (UTC)
I'm so excited! I love the cast and *squeee* Dimitri is perfect!!!

Cannot wait to meet the rest of the cast!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:38 am (UTC)
The cast is perfect.
You are perfect.
End of the drama.
Mary Rios
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:44 am (UTC)
Omg Im so excited!! Like a dream come true. Your words are such a relief for me. I wasnt really sure about the actors but I trust this people I know they had reasons to pick them and I hope that they would make justice to this amazing book. And what you said about Dimitri of the lust charm scene Im so anxious to see all of those scenes. Hope is great. And is true no matter if the movie is the worst, the book is the book where it all started and wont change :)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:49 am (UTC)
Ok-I feel compelled to comment again-I wish people wouldn't be so negative! Whatever they do with the movies will only increase interest. We ALL already love the books, so in return, should wholeheartedly support the movies so that Richelle's amazing story can reach other people! Get over your own selfishness and show some support!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:51 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much for taking the time to explain everything! I am so excited and think that it's going to be amazing! You couldn't have given a better explanation regarding the whole situation and I am even more excited after reading this, and I didn't even think that was possible! Can't wait to hear more!!!!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:58 am (UTC)
soo happy
This is amazing news I am glad they went with fresh talent the characters are so unique and I couldn't see them using any star we already know and this gives us a chance to fall in love with characters all over again and not try to compare them to the Past acting they have done. And as far as having sick kids I have three of them so I understand sleepless nights very well and from one mom to another just hang in there oh and on a side note. Go Blue! ranked number one in b ball
Feb. 2nd, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
I've heard of Zoey Deutch because I watched her play Juliet in Ringer last year, but I haven't heard of the others. I do love the fact that the actor for Dimitri is Russian and it totally fits. Also, I looked for pics of Lucy Fry and she definitely looks the part of Lissa. Honestly though, I'm more looking forward to seeing who is chosen for Adrian.
Jo-Anna Apelt
Feb. 2nd, 2013 07:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update
Thanks for the update. And I hope your little man is OK and you get some much needed sleep soon. The Mum hours suck sometimes, but we won't change it for anything....well.....maybe.....
Feb. 2nd, 2013 07:05 am (UTC)
Aww I am so sorry about your son! I hope he feels better soon! :) I also have high hopes for the movie even if I'm not really sure about the casting choices. lol I'm kinda on the line with all 3 of them, but I'm going to leave it up how the whole thing turns out! Cause maybe it will turn out and be way better than I'm expecting! :) So that's what I'm hoping for! lol Hope things get less crazy for you soon! :)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 08:03 am (UTC)
Sorry about your son :(
I'm so excited for this news though; the cast looks perfect IMO. I have faith in this movie. Also, loving all the Hunger Games references in there.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 08:56 am (UTC)
I think this is the most comfortable I've ever felt with one of my favourite novels being adapted into a movie. I think they're going to stay very true to the novels, and that the casting choice really wasn't bad at all. People just need to remember, this is an ADAPTION, things will change a bit.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 09:46 am (UTC)
It's sounds amazing to me! Let's hope this movie will be a blockbuster, so we can have all the VA series on the screen too... And, who knows, maybe a Succubus movie series iin the future... i'd love to see Georgina and Seth come alive!
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( 72 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
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