Julie Plec says Vampire Academy is like 'modern-day Bridgerton with vampires'
Julie Plec has been waiting to adapt the Vampire Academy books as a TV series for years. "I read them before Twilight," she tells EW. "I read them before Vampire Diaries came into my world and just really enjoyed the series and always thought, 'Gosh, one day I'd really love to work on a show like this.'"
But back then, before Plec would co-create The Vampire Diaries and its expansive universe, those kinds of massive world-building YA shows weren't common. And by the time they were, Plec figured she was done with vampire shows. "Then three vampire shows later, I realized that the appetite doesn't really go away," she says.
In 2014, when Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy book series was given the big-screen treatment, unhappy fans started clamoring for Plec to take a stab at the tale. Although Plec was too busy at the time, she never gave up on the idea. And in May, it was announced that Plec, along with fellow showrunner Marguerite MacIntyre, would finally be adapting the book series into a show for Peacock.
"It's a story about two young women who have been friends since the sandbox," Plec says. "As they grow up and get closer to entering real society, what society dictates about what their roles are supposed to be threatens to put a wedge in the success of their friendship."
Those two women, Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir, will be played by Sisi Stringer and Daniela Nieves. Rose is a vampire-human hybrid knows as a Dhampir, and Lissa is a Royal Moroi vampire. And as Plec mentions, life will throw them a curveball that could affect their lifelong friendship.
Social hierarchy and class both play a large part in this vampire story, complete with a royal court. "We talk in the writers' room about how we really want to make sure that episodically we hit the friendship and the romance and the palace fun, but we also really want to have our kind of Game of Thrones palace intrigue," Plec says. "I thought, 'This is modern-day Bridgerton with vampires,'" she adds. "Who's not going to want to see that?"
Also getting in on that palace intrigue will be the rest of the recently announced cast, including Kieron Moore, André Dae Kim, J. August Richards, Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Rhian Blundell, Jonetta Kaiser, and Andrew Liner.