Hello world! My name is Jacob. I'm a Communications Solutions Specialist at Indigo, and I'm new to the blogging team. Every once in a while, I'll have an existential crisis and feel the need to share my thoughts with you all. Luckily, all I think about is film and television...
What I have come to realize over many years of reading books and watching movies is that I love adaptations. I'm always intrigued by how the creative forces behind a movie decide to mould a book to serve their medium. While not every adaptation I've watched has been as good as the book that came before it, they've always been interesting. Adapting a novel is a challenging process, but an exciting one! Julie Kagawa is going through that process for the very first time as her highly anticipated Young Adult novel, The Immortal Rules, has just been optioned by production company Palomar Pictures. The announcement was made this morning, and Julie couldn't be more excited! Her reaction, which can be found on her blog, read: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
While I was coming up with a topic for my first post, a representative at Harlequin TEEN kindly offered me the opportunity to send a few questions over to Julie and to her producer, Joni Sighvatsson regarding the film.
Indigo Movies/TV Blog (IMB): This is your first novel that’s being given the film treatment. What aspects of the adaptation process are you most excited and nervous about?
Julie: Um, everything? It's all so very surreal, and I can admit to knowing virtually nothing about the process, so I guess I will learn it as I go.
IMB: Valhalla Rising. Arlington Road. Brothers. K-19: The Widowmaker. The Immortal Rules seems to stand out against your generally adult-oriented filmography. What inspired you to adapt the Young Adult novel?
Joni: I am not driven by any specific genre and will take an interest in all types of material if the subject matter speaks to me. That said catering to a younger audience is something I am quite familiar with. Being the co-founder of Propaganda films, which churned out innovative music videos to the increasing visual demands of the MTV-generation and one of the lead producers of Beverly Hills 90210, as well as raising a daughter who is now 17 years-old, I can fully appreciate what incredible impact young-adults have on Hollywood. The fact that The Immortal Rules is a young-adult novel was only part of the equation. The novel appealed to me as extremely well written with unique sensibilities and also something that lent itself effortlessly to cinematic adaptation.
IMB: The last decade has seen the release of a number of vampire books and movies. What is it that makes The Immortal Rules stand out against the rest?
Julie: The Immortal Rules takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a virus has decimated the human race, vampires have taken over, and humans are kept as blood cattle. I wanted to return vampires to their original roots as monsters and predators, and now they have no need to hide from the human population. The Immortal Rules is a dark story set in a bleak, dangerous world, which I hope is enough to set it apart from the rest of the vampire genre.
Joni: Twilight and The Hunger Games both were challenging, but talented filmmakers were up to the task and delivered strong filmic adaptations. The transfer of literary material to the screen is always a challenge as the mediums are so different. The successes of both movies are both a blessing and a curse. Twilight changed the young-adult genre and showed that there’s a definite interest from audiences. At the same time, every film based on a young-adult novel will be compared to the massive enterprises Summit and Lionsgate have treated us with. The Immortal Rules is not Twilight, and it’s not The Hunger Games either. Julie Kagawa has created something that can stand on its own, and our business model of creating innovative films at reasonable budgets will not change just because we are entering the young-adult game.
IMB: Can you name any movies that directly influenced your written work?
Julie: Underworld is one of my favorite vampire movies; it has that dark, savage undertone that I tried to capture with The Immortal Rules. (It also has a kick-ass female vamp.) And though it's not a movie, I have to mention Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was the one who made me love vampires and snarky heroines. In fact, the inspiration for Jackal, an evil yet charismatic vampire, came from a certain trenchcoat wearing, pale-haired, wise-ass vamp with an awesome singing voice. Jackal doesn't sing, and he is wholly evil, but his personality is a nod to one of the greatest vampires on television.
IMB: Okay, dream cast! If the film were to be shot tomorrow, who would be your pick to play Allison?
Julie: Oh, I'm sooooo bad at this, lol! Maybe Devon Aoki from Sin City for Allie, Zac Efron for Zeke and either Jude Law or Ryan Gosling for Kanin? I'm sure I'm missing someone obvious, but like I said, I'm horrible at this.
IMB: The Immortal Rules will be available in bookstores next week. Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers who will be looking forward to the film’s release upon finishing the novel?
Julie: Thank you, first off, for your support in getting the book this far. I am just as excited as you are, I hope to see The Immortal Rules on the big screen, and I look forward to taking this journey with you.
Joni: Of course, fans are crucial to the success of any film adaptation. Thanks to the Internet, today’s fans are smarter than ever and know exactly what they want. Their expectations must, and will be, met.