Mark Waters talked to Crave Online about the YA genre in general and Vampire Academy, in particular.
CraveOnline: A damned tragedy: I have not been able to see this movie yet.
Mark Waters: Oh bummer.
One of my other writers was going to cover this but he got sick, so I wasn’t able to see the screening.
Good! Good. Print that. But I’m glad I get to talk to you anyway because I’d like to talk to you about the teen fantasy genre as a whole. You have not one but two experiences with it now, what with Vampire Academy and The Spiderwick Chronicles.
What is the perception of that genre from within the industry? Do people just see this as, “Oh, Vampire Academy! We’re going to make a ton of money!” Or is it just treated like any other book?
I think there was certainly a feeding frenzy of thinking like, “Well, Twilight made money, Hunger Games made money, we can do anything with a teen protagonist from the YA novels and we can go to the bank.” So a lot of that stuff was greenlit with that mindset, that it was easy cash. And then you have The Host and Beautiful Creatures and Mortal Instruments come out, and everyone’s going like, “Oh god, we’ve made a huge mistake.”
The interesting thing is we decided to make this movie even after all those movies had come out, and knowing that. Like, what are we doing differently than them that makes this worth trying to get out and make? That was the thing that was cool for my brother and I. Because I actually read all that stuff. For some reason I’m actually attracted to read it. I’ve read the whole Divergent series, the Pretty series. I just read it because I find this stuff interesting to read.
But the thing about Vampire Academy is, it just like this has got a different type of lead character, a different kind of tone that’s more comedic, frankly. Has a little bit of subversive humor in it. The action is kind of different; the action is more real, and more based on the lead character, as opposed to the lead character being a shrinking violet like Twilight’s Bella Swan.
“Adorably clumsy” is the expression.
Exactly, the… what is it? The “surprised ingénue.” Like, “What…?! Vampires are real?!” And our lead characters is a brash, like smart-mouthed girl who’s actually trained to kill vampires. It’s an interesting character because she’s actually somebody who’s kind of messy and makes lots of mistakes and is openly sexual. She has all these things that you’d normally shy away from in these YA books. She also happens to be able to kick ass, so I have Zoey Deutch training like she’s going to be Linda Hamilton in Terminator and said, “You need to believably be able to do these fights have people think that you’re capable of doing this stuff.”
So all that seemed interesting to us to say we can carve out our own territory here, that’s different than all the other dreadfully sincere YA adaptations. We’re going to hopefully make something that my brother and I would actually like to see, and maybe that makes it worth making.
Source: Crave Online