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At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, audiences got to take a first bite out of Reginald the Vampire, a blood-sucking new SYFY series set to premiere this fall starring Jacob Batalon, best known for his work in the latest Spider-Man trilogy.
Based on Johnny B. Truant’s Fat Vampire novels, Reginald the Vampire will see the titular freshly-turned vamp navigate an underground world of beautiful, vain creatures of the night — many of whom don’t take too kindly to Reginald’s take on vampire-dome.
To give fans a first look and insider perspective into the series, premiering on SYFY on Oct. 5, Batalon was joined onstage at SDCC by his co-stars — Mandela Van Peebles, Em Haine, and Savannah Basley — as well as showrunner Harley Peyton, executive producer and director Jeremiah Chechnik, and EP Lindsay Macadam. The panel’s host, Truant, started by asking Peyton why he’d decided to option his books and adapt them for television in the first place. Simply put, Peyton had read them and fell in love, especially with the main character and his journey, the idea of “emblematically learning that inside there’s a kind of special place that no one knows about.”
Reginald, for his part, is charismatic but awkward, and just trying to find his place in the world. He likes a girl who he isn’t sure likes him back and his life isn’t what he feels he was promised. He needs some divine (or, rather, undead) inspiration. Peyton emphasized the irony of only figuring out what life is all about after dying, but at the very least, Reginald has someone to lean on: His sire, Maurice.
Van Peebles, who portrays Maurice, is different from what Truant initially described in the novels. For one, he’s cool; cool enough that Van Peebles auditioned for Maurice wearing a gold fang, a character detail that remained permanent once he was cast.
While Maurice may be on the softer side of the vampire spectrum, the same can’t be said for his own sire, Angela, portrayed by Savannah Basley, who Truant described as the “big bad” of the series. She’s the Deacon of the vampire council in Akron, Ohio, and, as Basley joked in-character: “Reginald over here is making me look really bad, and that’s why he’s a big ol’ pain in my butt. Get out… or I’ll kill you.”
Naturally, Maurice doesn’t take too kindly to his sire threatening his new bestie, who’s described as “neurotic and thoughtful, almost to a fault.” But Maurice and Angela have been together for decades (Maurice is 90 years old while Angela swings closer to 400 years), and that kind of time breeds complications and, most significantly, resentment.
“It’s a classic love story,” Van Peebles joked about the love-hate relationship between Maurice and Angela.
Basley laughed with him and agreed it’s hard for Angela and Maurice to forget their history. “That type of being seen by someone, that’s a hard thing for them… to deal with in their relationship,” she mused.
“How long can you hold a grudge if you live forever?” Van Peebles asked.
Reginald, though, is just getting the hang of this whole “I’m a motherf*****’ vampire” thing, and just like any other normal person, he’s going to run into some challenges.
“Vampires over time have evolved into, like, vapid red carpet met gala d*****bags,” Peyton says of a lot of other vampires in pop culture. In Reginald, people will see themselves — the insecurities, the humor, the heart.
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.