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It might seem like things are happening very fast for Vampire Academy, the upcoming Peacock streaming series adapted from Richelle Mead's bestselling young adult series of the same name. The show was officially announced as a Peacock original under co-creators Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre back in May, and earlier this week the streamer unveiled the show's stars just a few months later.
But for Plec, whose past successes include The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff series The Originals, this is a much longer story. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming series, Plec explained that Vampire Academy is something that was in her mind even before she worked on The Vampire Diaries as a years-in-the-making dream project.
"I read [Mead's novels] before Vampire Diaries came into my world and just really enjoyed the series and always thought, 'Gosh, one day I'd really love to work on a show like this.'"
So, now that Plec's gotten her wish, what can we expect from the new streaming series? Vampire Academy stars Sisi Stringer and Daniela Nieves as Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir, two young women who are best friends despite existing in different social classes within the title academy. Rose is a Dhampir, a kind of human-vampire hybrid, and she's set to train to be a guardian to Lissa, a royal vampire with an entirely different set of social expectations for her future. According to Plec, the societal norms that attempt to govern what Rose and Lissa will do with their respective lives has a major role to play in generating the show's drama.
"It's a story about two young women who have been friends since the sandbox. As they grow up and get closer to entering real society, what society dictates about what their roles are supposed to be threatens to put a wedge in the success of their friendship," Plec explained.
As the tension between Rose and Lissa's respective roles suggests, Vampire Academy will also lean heavily on themes of class and hierarchy, and Lissa's status as a royal means the show will be spending some time on the courtly aspect of it all. For Plec, that draws comparisons to not one, but two recent TV hits: The Netflix period romance series Bridgerton, and HBO's fantasy powerhouse, Game of Thrones.
"We talk in the writers' room about how we really want to make sure that episodically we hit the friendship and the romance and the palace fun, but we also really want to have our kind of Game of Thrones palace intrigue," Plec explained. "I thought, 'This is modern-day Bridgerton with vampires,'" she adds. "Who's not going to want to see that?"
Vampire Academy does not yet have a release date, but is coming to Peacock.