Let’s start with you and your involvement and why you wanted to option it?
Don Murphy: Susan and I had been working with a guy named Mike Preger who is one of the producers, he’s based in Florida, on a project…
Susan Montford: On a modern day version of Day of the Triffids.
Don: Yes, a modern day version of Day of the Triffids. It’s an old classic British Science Fiction Novel. He called us up one day and said I have another project that I want you to do based on a series of young adult books called Vampire Academy. I said, “Are you crazy? That sounds horrible.” (laughs) Our reaction was we already have a project, we don’t need any other projects, thanks. He was like No, No you gotta read it. He just kinda kept at it until we read it, and we kinda woke up in the middle of the third one and said this is amazing, we have to try to get involved with this. That started when we were on the set of Reel Steal a couple of years ago, a Hugh Jackman movie we did together. So we put together a real nice pitch book, sent it out to all the studios, the sales, synopsis, and why this is going to be the next big thing. They all said that we were crazy. But, considering that they said that about Transformer’s too, we didn’t listen to them.
Susan: They were also saying because Twilight existed there wasn’t a need to making it.
Don: Ah Vampires, vampires are done you know. We would go into meetings and say that the Twilight crowd is not 95 year old ladies, it was a different crowd.
Do you think it’s an integrity thing?
Don: No, I think they thought we already had the Vampire thing. The Vampire in the title didn’t help things.
Susan: The title was problematic.
What was the special thing that you saw in the books that made you want to take on the project?
Susan: They were really cheeky, also it was from a female perspective and there was also the bond between the two girls which was particularly engaging because you don’t see that too often. You really feel a strong understanding of a teenage girls mind. She’s like really, really devoted to her best friend and it was a really interesting angle rather than it being all about boys. We have got boys and all that stuff, but it’s really about the two girls.
It’s a beautiful cast isn’t it really?
Susan: It’s a wonderful cast.
What was the audition process like?
Susan: Well, we used Marci Liroff and a website, where we invited all to post their auditions and then we played through these relentlessly until we found the perfect cast. We’re pretty excited to making it.
Don: My answer to your other question, another attraction is what you are always looking for in a project, is that Richelle created such a mythology, such a world going on. It’s rare that you are like, Wow, I wanna know what’s next, what happens in that world.
Read the full interview HERE