We got to sit in on the exclusive press room for The Originals at Comic-Con on Saturday, and the cast and producers had plenty to say about the upcoming Vampire Diaries spin-off to whet fans’ appetites for more. The show doesn’t premiere until October, but here’s what we know so far.
1. It’s Gonna Get Goth
Executive Producer Julie Plec says she had to keep writers from using flowery language in The Vampire Diaries, but since The Originals is filled with an old-world cast, that language makes more sense. Mix that faux-Shakespearean dialogue with the dark atmosphere of New Orleans and you come away with a gothy feel that should please Anne Rice fans as much as TVD fans.
“This is more old world. Half the characters are European. Klaus has been around for a thousand years,” Plec said. “And then there’s New Orleans, which in and of itself has a voice. It’s more gothic for sure.
“We’re going to let ourselves get away with words and tones that I used to scold some of the writers on The Vampire Diaries [for using]. I would say, ‘Get rid of all that Game of Thrones Shakespearean stuff. It’s stupid. It’s too much.’ But here it feels much more like the right place. There’s definitely a Shakespearean element to the show — definitely a bolder tone to it. And that’s really exciting to do what we always had to stop ourselves from doing on Vampire.”
2. Hayley and Klaus Will Have Some Weird Chemistry
Phoebe Tonkin, who plays Hayley, told us the cast was just as shocked as the fans by her pregnancy on the show, and now she’s being thrust into a relationship with Klaus. The two are going to have to figure out how to deal with the repercussions of having a werewolf/vampire hybrid baby while also dealing with each other.
“It’s going to be nice to see the dynamic between Klaus and Hayley now,” Tonkin said. “I think Klaus resents Hayley a little bit because they didn’t plan on this going any further than a one night stand. And now they’re facing the consequences of that.”
3. Marcel Will Be a Match for Klaus
Marcel is still sort of a mysterious character, and after talking to the incredibly charming Charles Michael Davis on Saturday, it sounds like he and the writers are still establishing who he is. He says some of that will come from his own personality, but he was able to tell us Marcel will have some sort of rivalry with Klaus, and it won’t be immediately clear who’s more powerful.
“One of the things we talked about in the panel is ‘Who’s the smartest?’ And Joseph [Morgan, who plays Klaus] said, ‘Well it depends on how you define smart.’ We have our specialties,” Davis said. “I think like when you build a team, you’ve got Michael Jordan, but he’s nothing without Scotty Pippin, a good coach, and even the other little parts. So we’re just going to see who’s going to be Michael Jordan, and who’s going to be Scotty Pippin. Who’s Batman, and who’s Robin? It’s still up in the air.”
Julie Plec says they’ll start exploring Klaus’ and Marcel’s long history together early in the season.
“We’re going to unfold a lot of that story over the course of the first season, starting almost immediately with the second episode. We’re going to show some flashbacks of the first time Klaus and Marcel met, when Marcel was just a 10-year-old boy. Slowly and surely over the course of the run, we’re going to give little pieces of that and show how the friendship was born, what it meant to Klaus, how it ended, and why them coming back together is fraught with so many different emotions: jealousy and love; and loyalty and betrayal. We dug right in right away.
4. Elijah Will Have a Lot to Do in New Orleans
It doesn’t take long talking to Daniel Gillies before you realize he might have a deeper understanding of his character than anyone else on the show. As Elijah, Gillies will be settling into a new kind of lifestyle in New Orleans, and while the
“[New Orleans] is such a decadent hotbed. It would kind of be the opposite of what he would want. But I think he enjoys the smokescreen of it,” Gillies said. “Within the world that Julie’s building — with all this illegal activity, and this underground war happening — you wouldn’t be able to tell because of the veneer of the revelry happening on the surface.
“He seems to have some sort of affinity for the place, possibly because, according to the press legend, he was one of the creators and builders of it. So I think that’s his allegiance to the place.”
Plec makes it clear Elijah plays a central role in The Originals, nearly defining her view of the show.
“For us The Originals is about a brother, Elijah, who has watched his family fracture over and over and over again for a thousand years,” she said. “He’s watched his brother go so dark and really crumble psychologically over centuries.
“He gets a glimpse of a chance at redemption, not just for his brother, but for his entire family legacy. And everything is kind of going to be built around him wanting to bring his family back together, and reinvigorate the power of the family. There’s a reason they’ve stayed together so long in spite of all the terrible things they’ve done to each other. It’s like the salvation of the family unit in the midst of a war that is happening over control of the town.”
And while Elijah and Katherine are now on separate shows, Gillies said he’d love for Elijah to meet her now that she’s human. What does he think would happen? Two words: “Nuclear activity.”