It's great that the Vampire Academy books are becoming a movie series from Transformers producer Don Murphy. No matter how Hollywood dumbs them down, they probably won't be able to remove the core concept: a female bodyguard who kicks ass.
I reviewed the first Vampire Academy book a while back, and I was pleasantly surprised by the strong characters and addictive storylines. People who've been annoyed by how passive and dependent the female main characters are in other recent vampire stories will be very happy to meet Rose, who's ultra proactive and will just as soon punch you in the face as debate with you. Best of all, Rose's most important relationship isn't with a guy — it's with her female best friend Vasilisa, a sort of vampire princess whom Rose is sworn to protect. Sure, there are romantic issues and love triangles and all that stuff — it's a young-adult book set in a boarding school — but it's not all about the love stories.
Murphy is teaming with producer Michael Preger, who worked on the Day Of The Triffids miniseries. (Oh dear.) Murphy tells Variety:
The joy of these books is that in the wake of 'Twilight' they offer a chance to create a movie franchise that guys will want to see as well as girls. Michael and I plan on positioning the films as something both sexes will enjoy together, expanding the genre of sexy young vampires to a whole new audience. We are beginning discussions with studios immediately.
Like I said, I'm sure the movies will be dumbed down. ("Sexy young vampires" confirms it, really.) But they'd be hard pressed to tear out everything that makes the books such a welcome antidote to other stories of weak, dependent women and girls. Fingers crossed! [Variety]