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When the cast and creators of SYFY’s upcoming series Reginald the Vampire took to the stage at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, they brought with them a first look worthy of sinking your teeth into as well as plenty of behind-the-scenes love. While viewers are still waiting for the series premiere on Oct. 5, the SDCC panel provided an insider’s look at the cast and crew’s dynamic, and the important, positive themes at the show’s core.
Additionally, “You will actually see that I can f***ing act,” series star Jacob Batalon said, insisting that the series gave him a real chance to shine outside of the Spider-Man role he’s primarily known for amongst genre fans. He said one of the biggest things he took from working on Spider-Man, though, was how much audiences responded to the Spidey cast being so close in real life; joking around and hanging out off-camera. He wanted to help bring the same energy to Reginald the Vampire.
So, yes, viewers will see that Batalon can “actually” act, but his co-stars who joined him on stage — Mandela Van Peebles, Em Haine, and Savannah Basley — insisted that every day working on the COVID-19-locked-down set was made all the better due to Batalon’s role as “No. 1,” referencing his place as first on the call sheet. And it shows.
Haine explained that Batalon would regularly check in on folks in front of and behind the camera. “Jacob would go around and tell people, ‘You’re working too hard; sit down!’” she recalled with a laugh.
“The best experience is sharing that experience with people you care about,” Batalon said, sharing a smile with his castmates.
Not only was the set itself a good “hang,” per showrunner Harley Peyton, but the messages at the core of the series are unlike so many vampire shows before it.
When asked what stood out to her about Reginald the Vampire when she first found it, executive producer Lindsay Macadem said she was struck by several themes, including the “underdog” story running throughout as well as the body positivity. In a world that so often skews negative and breeds near-constant chaos, she saw Reginald as a chance to “put out something good in the world.”
“Our first set of feet forward was to subvert the normal tropes of vampire lore whether it’s in a visual context, an emotional context … vampires have feelings, too, they suffer!” series EP and director Jeremiah Chechnik said.
The vamps in this series are complex, even if their diets aren’t. Everything about the series from the body positivity to the characters of various races, genders, and sexualities makes it “modern and of today,” said Peyton.
Ultimately, for Batalon, working on Reginald the Vampire felt like “I just found the Master Sword” from Zelda. After a long genre journey and countless lessons along the way, he and the rest of the cast and creators are just that much closer to achieving their goal: premiere day.
Viewers can get a first look at the series here, and make sure to check out Reginald the Vampire when it premieres on Oct. 5 at 10 p.m. ET, right after the Season 2 premiere of SYFY and USA Network’s Chucky.