Vampire Academy showrunners break silence on character changes - and Dimitri’s duster

The show airs on 15 September

If there’s one Vampire Academy Easter egg fans are hoping to see in the upcoming Peacock series, it’s Dimitri’s duster - and in good news for fans, Julie Plec and Marguerite Macintyre have told HELLO! that yes, it will make an appearance.

The pair laughed when asked about the item of clothing that has become a fan favorite and identifies the guardian in Richelle Mead’s beloved series, with Marguerite teasing: "Just you wait." During the show’s panel at San Diego Comic Con the duster made an appearance in an opening sizzle reel.

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WATCH: Vampire Academy trailer

The first book of the series isn’t just a high school vampire story though, with class politics and mental health issues at play, something both Julie and Marguerite promise will be in the show.

"As far as Lissa was concerned, we didn’t want to glorify any self-harm and so we paid service at the beginning and then moved off of it, for now," said Julie.

"She has other struggles with her pyschological state a result of trauma, and there are other characters that go down similar roads."

"But the class bias and elitism and the fraying of the rules of this tightly wound society, that is our season, we have leaned into that."

Daniela Neves plays Lissa, the royal vampire

Julie added: "Richelle covered over the six books and it escalated and escalated, but we jumped in with this at the beginning as we loved the royal intrigue and politics of the last few books.

"The fighting for the throne, who will be the next monarch, [they] make for great stories and take us down the road moving forward."

"The why now of it as well,” added Marguerite, "there’s thematic underpinnings that are so resonant and we weren’t going to bury the lead on that." 

Sisi Stringer stars as Rose and Kieron Moore as Dimitri

The show has cut certain characters and amalgamated others, and Julie says she’s most excited for fans to see the development of these new stories, including "Lissa and her relationship with her brother before he passes".

"We also made Mia a mix of Mia and Natalie, Viktor's daughter, and so we're excited to see how [Mia] works as a sister to Sonya. And we’re excited for a romantic relationship between Mia and the beloved Meredith character, one of the Dhampirs, and their relationship [which is] very sweet."

As for any fears over a response from a passionate fandom to these changes, Julie trusts in the storytelling.

"I have an incredible respect for fandom and my entire career is built on the enthusiasm of fandom," she said, “but when it comes down to ‘well, Rose isn’t white or Lissa doesn’t have blonde hair, or so and so isn't queer in the books'? Well, the books were written 15 years ago and we have to tell stories that reflect the world we live in now."

The first four episodes of Vampire Academy are available 16 September on Peacock exclusively on Sky and NOW, with new episodes dropping weekly.

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