We have our Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri!
Fans of the Vampire Academy series and the upcoming film adaptation of the first novel were anxiously awaiting a mystery announcement teased after the official Facebook page for the movie hit over 250,000 fans. And as promised, the casting announcement for the three leads was released Friday afternoon, as well as a name change. The first movie will now be called Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, which is the title of the German version of the series.
Zoey Deutch will portray main character Rose Hathaway, Lucy Fry will play Lissa Dragomir, and Danila Kozlovsky will take on Dimitri Belikov. All three are relative newcomers: Deutch had a role on the CW show Ringer as Sarah Michelle Gellar's stepdaughter Juliette, Fry was on H20: Just Add Water, and Kozlovsky is a Russian superstar but unknown in the US.
RELATED: 'Vampire Academy' Movie Gets Screenwriter and Script
As a big fan of Richelle Mead's series myself, I was torn between these choices for the leads. While I appreciate the relative unknown status of the three (this is going to be a large franchise with six books, and it's better to start with a clean slate than go the route of casting Cedric Diggory as Edward Cullen...), I'm still unsure on the casting of Deutch as Rose for a couple reasons. First, she's isn't that unknown. Before her role on Ringer, she was also a big part of Disney Channel's Suite Life On Deck's final season, as well as in the upcoming movie Beautiful Creatures. But the major issue I have with Deutch is that she is too delicately pretty. Rose Hathaway is an infamous dhampir (half human, half vampire bodyguard-in-training), fierce, tough, and deadly with a fiery personality to boot. She is described as a curvy, exotic Turkish/Irish mixture. This gives her long, dark hair and tan olive skin. Rose can take down any opponent in a physical fight, whether it's another dhampir, a human male twice her size, or a Strigoi (an undead evil vampire with inhuman strength). Deutch does not exude that same strength that makes Rose who she is. You can't fake that kind of inherent toughness. Rose can intimidate anyone with just a threat of violence because her reputation is so well-known. I'm not confident that Deutch portray that.
As for Princess Lissa, Rose's best friend and the last remaining Dragomir alive, I don't have any problems with Fry. She has the exact look for Lissa, pale skin for a Moroi (the good, living vampires), light blonde hair, and a kind, gentle demeanor. Lissa is elegant and polite, the sweet to balance Rose's spicy. Let's just hope she can hide her Australian accent well, as Lissa is of Romanian descent.
The last of the main three is Dimitri, Rose's mentor. In the books, he is described as a god, the best of all the dhampirs. Deadly, yet with a gentle side that hardly ever comes out, Dimitri is supposed to be an enormous 6 foot 7, made of muscles, with shoulder-length hair and never without a long, black, leather jacket/duster. And the most important aspect is his Russian descent, as he speaks with a slight accent. And this is why I'm torn on the casting of Kozlovsky. As a native Russian, he will bring authenticity to the role, but physically he just doesn't strike an imposing figure. He doesn't have the kind of presence that you immediately notice and fear.
Back when I was dreamcasting VA, I thought perhaps Supernatural's Jared Padalecki could fit the bill. He's enormously tall and muscular, he's already got the hairstyle down pat, and we know he can play both the badass good guy and the evil, deadly villain (I won't explain why the latter is necessary to play Dimitri, no spoilers here!). All he needed was a little coaching on the accent.
But despite all the fans' complaints, celebrations, groans, and squeals, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters has been cast, and for better or worse we have our main characters. Daniel Waters, who wrote the iconic Sundance comedy Heathers, has written the script and his brother, Mean Girls helmer Mark Waters, will direct the film. Casting is in full swing for a summer shoot.
What do you think of the casting? Are you happy with our Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri? What do you think of the name change? Hit the comments below and let us know how you feel!
[Photo Credit: Penguin Publishing; WENN; Getty Images; IMDB]
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
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When you hear the words, “teen vampire movie,” obviously the first thing anyone will think about is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga. But soon, that will all change.
New York Times bestselling series Vampire Academy – optioned by Preger Entertainment way back in the summer of 2010 – is finally moving forward with the first book’s big-screen adaptation. According to the official Facebook page for the film, “We have a writer & a script: Dan Waters of Heathers fame! Woot Woot!!”
“Dan has written a brilliant screenplay for Vampire Academy. Smart and funny, clever and really a great read – it is going to make a terrific film,” producer Don Murphy wrote. Waters has also written Batman Returns, Hudson Hawk, and Demolition Man.
But fans and critics who are looking to compare Vampire Academy with The Twilight Saga should be warned: there is absolutely nothing that links these two series besides the fact that they are both in the vampire genre. The protagonist in Richelle Mead’s six-part series is Rose Hathaway, a headstrong, independent, Dhampir (half-human/half-vampire) bodyguard in training to protect her best friend, Moroi (vampire) princess Lissa Dragomir, the last in her royal bloodline following a tragic car accident. Unlike Bella Swan’s constant damsel-in-distress (a useless, personality-lacking human girl), Rose is an actual role model. She doesn’t take anything lying down, she fights for herself and her friends (quite literally… since Rose is going to be a royal bodyguard, most of her school classes are combat training), and she doesn’t allow anyone to wage her battles for her. She is confrontational, confident, and doesn’t allow a silly thing like heartbreak get in the way of living her life and protecting her friend.
Vampire Academy begins when Rose and Lissa have already been on the run for two years from St. Vladimir's Academy, which isn't just any boarding school – it's a hidden place where the good, living vampires are educated in the ways of magic, and half-human teens train to protect them as Guardians. But after being caught, Rose and Lissa are dragged back to St. Vladimir's – the very place where they're most in danger. Rose and Lissa have a rare and unbreakable psychic bond, which complicates their lives when they become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, the royal palace’s government politics, and unspeakable nighttime rituals.
But in addition to the dangers plaguing Lissa and Rose inside the Academy, outside await the Strigoi – the fiercest and most dangerous undead vampires who kill humans, Moroi, and Dhampirs. The evil Strigoi have made it their mission to end Royal bloodlines, making Lissa their prime target. As if Rose didn’t already have enough on her plate, what with her inappropriate feelings for her much older instructor, Dimitri Belikov, who is known as a god among the Guardians.
There is enough action, romance, and mystery in Vampire Academy to completely change the vampire movie genre going forward (and to erase any and all comparisons to The Twilight Saga for good). It is mature, emotional, and exciting. And now that a script has been written, it’s time to start the casting process. Who will make a good Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri?
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
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