It’s only February and The CW has already renewed its cult hit The Vampire Diaries for next season.
The story revolves around two brothers, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder), both vampires living in the small town of Mystic Falls, both infatuated with high school student Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev).
But Damon’s obsession with Elena stems from the fact that she reminds him of his old lover, Katherine, whom he romanced in the 1800s.
I spoke with the series’ Executive Producers, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec about the future of their successful series.
How much are you finding that you can stick with the books, and how much are you changing things because the show has taken on a life of its own?
Kevin Williamson: The show does take on a life of its own, but I think the book has always inspired us. If you’re a fan of the book, you can look at what we have used and what we haven’t, or what we’ve taken and turned it on its end.
For instance, we’re going into this whole thing of this church and the tomb underground and these vampires that have been desiccated and laying in wait for all these years, with Katherine amongst them.
That’s not in the book. However, what is in the book is Katherine. And so the book has always inspired us, but now the show is off and running, and with a bunch of writers sitting in a room we twist and turn everything.
Can you talk about the developing relationship between Stefan and Damon?
Kevin Williamson: They are cut from the same cloth, and there’s a level of trust that has been lost between them, and that has destroyed almost every other aspect possible of their relationship.
There’s a layer of betrayal, so as much as they want to trust each other, they can’t, and we actually are going to show you why.
Julie Plec: We’re going to show you why, and then, a lot of the latter half of our season we’re going to explore the flip-flop of the dynamic between the brothers because, for the first half of the season, it’s been very much about Stefan managing Damon and dealing with Damon.
Stefan is going to go through something that, towards the end of the season, is going to put Damon in a situation where he suddenly has to finally step up and act like a big brother and take care of Stefan.
Can you talk about Katerina Graham’s role, Bonnie Bennett, and her relationship with Elena? As she is actually the holder of the necklace that opens the tomb, how is that going to come about?
Kevin Williamson: She actually becomes very, very important to Damon when it comes time to get help to get that tomb open. So we’ll see how that plays out.
And Elena’s and Bonnie’s relationship is going to be tested, because now Bonnie is aware of Stefan – and she – I’m sorry, we’re so many episodes ahead, I don’t want to blow what’s in the next episode.
Julie Plec: She’s aware of the vampires.
Kevin Williamson: She’s got to make a choice. Is she going to have a problem with it or is she down with it, because there’s still the town council, this little secret society that is trying to rid the world of vampires. Bonnie might have to make a choice.
The show has already been picked up for next season, will you stay in Atlanta?
Kevin Williamson: I think we’re going to stay in Atlanta. Atlanta has been really good to us, in terms of just the look, the feel. We have an amazing crew down there.
I’ve never had such a good-looking show. I think it’s very polished. And if you knew what went into it and how we have less money than bigger budgeted shows, it’s even more impressive.
Julie Plec: And the Georgia tax rebate really helps us with that which is why Atlanta is a good place for us.
If The Vampire Diaries has a really long run, your vampire actors might start to look older, and vampires don’t age
Kevin Williamson: I have really thought about that, and you know with modern technology we’ll just increase the special effects budget!
There’s a lot of speculation that werewolves are coming.
Kevin Williamson: For everyone who’s been watching, they know that we’ve hinted at it already.
And if you’ve read the books you know which character is the first. I’ll tell you it will be triggered by one peculiar activity.
Are you working on any big screen project?
Kevin Williamson: I’m almost done writing the first draft of Scream 4. I’m trying to get that together for Wes (Craven).
We’ve got to get going on that during the hiatus. We have Neve (Campbell), Courteney (Cox) and Dave (Arquette).
I was always holding out hope for those three characters. So I don’t have to reroute the whole story. I can do it exactly the way I want to. And the story is going to be told as I originally conceived it.
Will Scream 4 be in 3D?
Kevin Williamson: No, I don’t think Scream lends itself to a 3D film. Scream sort of sends up those movies, so putting it in that device probably wouldn’t work. We’re the movie that makes fun of it, and I do.
What I like about the Scream movies, versus other horror movies, you care about [the people], you watch them walk through it all and you care about the story. So it’s not always about the next kill or the slice and dice.
That’s why other movies don’t work as well. They’re one kill after another, and they don’t tell a story. Where’s the protagonist, and what’s their journey? What’s the journey for the main character?