By James Hibberd
Updated January 29, 2013 at 09:23 PM EST

The CW’s Vampire Diaries spinoff won’t just takes viewers to New Orleans, it’ll also go back in time.

As fans know, writer-producer Julie Plec’s upcoming backdoor-pilot episode of Vampire Diaries will serve as the launch pad for a potential spin-off series and will be set in the present day. But if greenlit to series, she also hopes to include regular flashbacks going back decades or even centuries, possibly quite like the flagship show. “It will be about both the contemporary [story] — where we are now and what we are up to — and also will flash back to show what the f–k happened to us to bring us to this moment,” said co-star Daniel Gillies on the red carpet for EW’s annual SAG party in Los Angeles last weekend.

Sources close to the show say Plec’s current plan is to use flashbacks to explore New Orleans up through the early 20th Century when Klaus and his family left the city behind. It’s yet not clear, however, how frequent those flashbacks will be and whether the storytelling style will ultimately be different than Vampire Diaries. For instance, The CW’s Arrow flashes back to Oliver Queen’s five years spent marooned on an island in each episode, while TVD semi-regularly uses flashbacks, including to tell the origin story of The Original Familyin the show’s third season.

“Julie Plec has been talking about this for a little while and to be honest with you, I never thought it was going to become a reality,” Gillies added about the spinoff. “I just thought it was a cool idea she threw around and I did not dare to dream that it would come to fruition. I knew that if it did, we would be a part of it, but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. But I feel very blessed that it is closer to becoming a reality now.”

Gillies also joked about the number of times his character Elijah has gotten staked on the show. “Four times I got staked so far,” he said. “I was always like, “What the f–k? Why do you keep staking me? What’s wrong with Elijah? Is it his jackets?” Hopefully in the spinoff there will be no more staking for Elijah.”

The Originals will shoot in New Orleans and Atlanta and air Thursday. April 25. For more on the spinoff, see Mandi Bierly’s recent interview with Plec here.

With reporting by Carrie Bell

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