The latest look at Mark Waters' feature adaptation of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy has stars Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry walking us through some of the ins and outs of life at St. Vladimir's Academy. For Moroi vampires and the half-human/half-vampire Dhampirs training to protect them, that involves deadly school dances, romance, fights and fangs.
We have Regal Cinemas to thank for this latest look, which includes a lot of familiar footage, glimpsed in previous trailers and TV spots, but also some new snippets. Among the highlights, there's a fang montage:
A warning about someone's last dance…
And the romance, which highlights the chemistry between Rose (Deutch) and Dimitri (Danila Kozlovsky):
Fans of the books likely know what's going on there.
And speaking of fans of the books, am I alone in being optimistic that this feature adaptation will actually work? Granted, at least part of that could be due to my appreciation for the work of screenwriter Daniel Waters (Heathers) and his brother Mark (Mean Girls). I realize that the trailers indicate a tonal shift from the book, taking a slightly more playful approach to the whole notion of a school for vampires. But the lighter tone is actually one of the reasons I really liked Mead's book. While it's not a comedy by any stretch, there's a wittiness to Rose's candid narrative that offsets the drama and suspense nicely, making the book as entertaining as the story is compelling and exciting.
Reading some of the comments people left in one of our recent updates, I wonder where the backlash is coming from. Do people really want another young adult supernatural-themed movie that takes itself super seriously? Because that didn't work out so well for The Mortal Instruments or Beautiful Creatures. And if ever there's a vampire movie with room for a little bit of humor and a lighter approach to its subject matter, it's Vampire Academy.
Yes, I realize a lot of this is at least partially my own inclination for optimism talking. I haven't seen the movie either. It's entirely possible the approach the trailers indicate that the film is taking will fall face-forward into a pile of failed attempts at witty comebacks and unsuccessful one-liners. Maybe too much about the books will be changed. Maybe it won't be suspenseful enough. These are things we won't know until we see the movie. But given the ratio of successful young adult book-to-screen adaptations to unsuccessful ones lately, can we really fault the Waters or The Weinstein Company for taking a risk with a more original approach to a genre that typically strives for angst and drama and forgets to have a sense of humor? Warm Bodies is a movie that bucked that trend (as did the book), and while it didn't exactly blow up at the box office, it managed to be something different and better than other supernatural young adult fare. It breathed a puff of life into the genre, if only for a few beats. Whether or not Vampire Academy's efforts to do the same or succeed in setting off a new franchise remains to be seen, but shouldn't fans want to give it the benefit of the doubt until it is seen?
The movie can be seen February 7. In the meantime, let us know what you think by commenting or voting in the poll below:
Will Vampire Academy be good?