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Movie Press Conference

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.


( 71 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
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Feb. 2nd, 2013 10:02 am (UTC)
OK I feel so much better now!
I was a little worried about the casting when I saw it but mainly because the looks weren't quite right. I had no doubts about their acting talents because they must have won on talent rather than the right look! I thought Zoey Deutch looked too delicate but as long as she puts on a good amount of muscle during their training and darkens her hair she'll look close enough!
I'm just so glad to read what you wrote about the script! From other articles I've read it just sounded like they were going to try and make it a teen chic flick and just take away all the darker elements of the book which, in my opinion, would ruin it. But seeing that you've read the script and approved I feel better! I'm sure you wouldn't be OK with them turning your books into something they've not!
I guess all of us with concerns will just have to wait until the official promo shots and trailers to see what it's going to be like.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 10:42 am (UTC)
Absolutely Going to Wait no matter how long it is (I hope soon!!)
I feel....
Tremendously HAPPY~..
Finally my favorite series has being made a movie.. Yay..!~ Thank You Richelle for making is absolutely gorgeous, awesome series ><..
A little bit disappointed with the Dimitri role since I wished I should be .... well but I have to see the Danila's act first can he make me and girls all over the world swoon just like 'Dimitri' did to us? #biggrin

Anyway.. Thanks for sharing and reading my comments Ms Richelle..
I love the new name, the casts, the books, and everything in it..
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
Personally, I think the cast is so perfect, I can not even believe it yet! It makes me even more excited for the movie! Hope your son is better!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 12:03 pm (UTC)
Loved it!
I'm soooo happy about this cast news!!! I couldn't believe that a beautiful Russian would play Dimitri!!! I don't care if they aren't exactly as I imagined (but they're very similar), all I want is that they play the characters very well! I'm also excited because they are not famous actors, so it will be really fresh and comfortable see them in the big screen as Rose, Dimka and Lissa!
About the title, I understood why they needed to change it, and I respected the decision, especially because it wasn't such a huge modifications, just a addition, and it was related to the story!!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 12:12 pm (UTC)
Can't wait.. :D really happy..
Aline Mesquita
Feb. 2nd, 2013 12:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, you really relieved me about the love triangle, thank you!! For the other things, I really like the whole cast, Zoey and Lucy are lovely, they're very accurate for what I imagined. And what must I say about Danila? He is Russian, a very true Russian from Russia! I need nothing more. I'm really excited 'bout the movie, can't wait!!!
PS. I hope your son is better.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 12:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the information! I love the VA series and hope the movies are a success. I do feel that the change of who gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin in THG movie messed things up because it completely changed the meaning behind the pin as it no longer belongs to a former tribute. Being a huge fan of the backstory with Haymitch and Maysilee, that did ruin the movies for me. But as you said, it's impossible to please everyone. Sorry for the tangent ;) Congratulations on having your series picked up for a movie! <3
Feb. 2nd, 2013 12:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you Richelle!
Awesome, just awesome! I'm completely on board with the movie and everything this team has accomplished. They chose great actors, and it sucks that some fans are hating on them. But this happens EVERY time a book is turned into a movie. I remember when everyone was hating on Robert Pattinson, and now 90% of the teen population loves him. I trust this is going to be an AMAZING movie!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 12:57 pm (UTC)
Movies can actually ruin the book (not that I'm saying this will). Based on my experience with Twilight, I loved the books so much that I loved the movies as well. But after a while, people started hating them, and I saw how ugh the actors were that I started hating the books. I'm planning on reading them again in the future but as of now, I dislike the Twilight saga.

Hope your son gets well soon! I'm sick too, LOL. (Actually I can't laugh properly. I keep coughing :C)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
First of all, sorry to hear your little one is sick. It's hard. I'm in the same boat with my two-month-old daughter, so I sympathize.


Yes, yes, YES to the actors!!! I don't think a better trio could've been selected, and now I'm extremely excited to see Vampire Academy in its movie form. (Note I wasn't aware of a movie until now. *ahem*) As long as the story isn't completely different from the original, I'll enjoy it---and try not to nitpick too much. ;)

I hope you get some much-needed sleep, and that your son gets to feeling better.

Feb. 2nd, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
I am so excited.... This is the most awesome thing ever! Thank you for clearing things up! Ahh. Can't wait to drag my friends to watch it with me
Feb. 2nd, 2013 02:20 pm (UTC)
You Rock!
So excited about the movie. Love, love, love the books and can't wait to see it on the big screen. Thanks for keeping your fans in the loop. Hope your son feels better son!!!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
Haha yay ! I am happy as the long as the acters are good looking :D
Just please choose good looking ones. I would probably cry for a week if they don't look good playing the part.

Oh well! Take your time :) love you guys
Bye bye.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
I cannot tell you how excited I am about this! I was just about to settle for the movie never happening and now this! THANK YOU. And the cast is perfect, Dimitri couldn't be better! Congrats and thank you so much for wonderful book series <3
Feb. 2nd, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
I am just excited for a movie!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
I think the key to retaining control over your work in the filming process is being the producer/director/screenwriter as well. Like Stephen King...that lucky bastard.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this, Richelle!

I've seen far too many bad attitudes on the various fanpages. In the end, this is just a movie. Movies are a process too. Actors train like crazy over two months, change their diets, and dye their hair so they can look like the character's they've been cast as, but I always see fans throwing fits over -one- picture they see on a movie's fanpage. As if professional make up artists and physical trainers can't change anything.

Then again, I always prefer actors who can act, not ones that are supposedly clones of the characters' looks. So, even if Lissa isn't quite what I pictured (especially with the graphic novel already out), I won't judge until I at least see a trailer.
Trista Goodman
Feb. 2nd, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
The Movie
I'm so excited for this movie to come out. I absolutely love the Vampire Academy books and I love the Bloodlines books too. I cannot wait to see this movie and the actors look great to me. So reading your post makes me feel awesome that so much won't be changed. I've gotten several people I work with into reading the books and they feel just like I do. I would like to thank you for being such an awesome author and having such a great imagination. - Trista
Feb. 2nd, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of putting books on the movie screen because they often don't go well. Plus, it's hard to take a book of 300+ pages and put it on the screen. Even with the best effort things usually need to be changed or left out and naturally we all see the characters a little differently in our heads. That being said, the movies are just another interpetation of those scenes. If you keep that in mind, even if the movie doesn't fit as well as we might hope, it doesn't change the book or the vision in our heads. I think it's best not to get so wound up about it. I love the books, especially the Bloodlines track, and while I hope the movies are great, if they aren't, I'll just curl up with the series again and enjoy the movies in my head that they provide me. Besides, no matter how great the movie is, it'll never top the book. =)
Michelle Lewell
Feb. 2nd, 2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
Amazing <3
Yes, at first the cast didn't seem amazing to me. But then I checked out different photos and used my imagination and I suddenly saw their potential. Plus who cares if Zoey 'isn't as curvy as rose', we all have different definitions of curvy.
But I am ridiculously happy this is being turned into a movie because to be honest I didn't think it would happen this soon.
I love the books and I'd still have my image of the different characters. Just because there are different actors doesn't mean it changes my imagination.
I hope all this anger dies down soon, for your sake and the directors.
ps, hope your son is better soon :)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC)
Im so excited!!
Ahhh!! I really loved the cast!! and now i can sleep better knowing that you approved the script!
Seriously VA is my favorite book series ever! I don't remember how many times I've read the books!
Rose is my role model! (even if you said she's not a good one lol).. I love all her girl power!
Dimitri... it is indeed amazing knowing he is actually Russian! Lisa... God, Lisa is gorgeous!!! I also love how they are from different parts of the world!
Final point.. I'm really excited and can't wait!!!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
I'm beyond impressed with the official cast.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
This is so awesome! I don't care who the actors are, I would still go see the movie! I'm sure the movie will be great, anyway. Can't wait for more news on this.
Heather Shaw
Feb. 2nd, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
I'm SO excited
The actors are perfect. They are just as I pictured them. That has NEVER happened for me when a book is made into a movie.

I'm very excited to see this movie. Probably just as excited as I am to see Ender's Game. I'm rarely excited for my favorite books to become movies so this is huge for me!
Feb. 2nd, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
A real russian guy to play our Russian warlord! How cool is that! And as sexy as I imagined Dimitri. For my part, I can see our characters coming to life with this cast.
I can't wait for the movie and The Indigo Spell of course!
I wish your son a fast recovery.
Your the best Richelle!
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( 71 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
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