Roll your eyes all you want – "Vampire Academy" is happening. But you won't be alone in that too-cool-for-school 'tude.
The movie's heroine has more attitude than all the other young adult franchises combined. After all, the adaptation of Richelle Mead's bestselling series is coming to us by way of "Heathers" screenwriter Daniel Waters and his director brother Mark, who helmed another snappy little high school movie known as "Mean Girls." You may have heard of it.
The story's lead, Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch), is a butt-kicking, wise-cracking Guardian-in-training – also known as a Dhampir, or half-human, half-vampire – tasked with keeping watch over her best friend Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry), the last in her bloodline of royal Moroi vampires. When they're not worried about evil Strigoi vampires, they're pretty much normal high school kids…who attend class at night.
Rose, for example, is always finding herself in a heap of trouble, whether it's with mean girl Mia (Sami Gayle), her BFF's love interest Christian (Dominic Sherwood), or sparring with her mentor (and crush) Dimitri (Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky). In one scene – which debuted at New York Comic-Con on Friday – Rose has just knocked Mia out during a school dance. After giving the room as innocent a look as she could muster, she insists, "I tried to take the high road there! Sort of."
If that's not enough to get you to consider spending Valentine's Day with "Vampire Academy" – yep, the movie arrives in theaters on February 14 – here are six more juicy bits we picked up at New York Comic-Con that just might do the trick.
Watch the 'Vampire Academy' Teaser Trailer:
1. Zoey and Lucy really might be shadow-kissed. In the story, Rose has a deep, supernatural bond with her BFF. In person, the actors who play them clearly have a bond of their own – and it started before they even got the gigs. As was recalled during the panel, director Mark Waters had several different actors audition for the roles of Rose and Lissa, and had them all come in and try-out with each other in varying combinations. When they weren't needed, Lucy asked Zoey, whom she'd never met before, to run lines with her. Later, when Lucy, who is Australian, said she was going to walk or take the bus back to her friend's place (where she was staying), Zoey insisted on giving her a ride.
"She was my guardian from the beginning," Lucy gushed. That sentiment was evident about an hour later when the pair were sitting next to each other during a roundtable interview with members of the media and we watched as Zoey attempted to warm Lucy's hands with her own.
2. Expect a solid soundtrack. In addition to working with composer Rolfe Kent on the score, Mark Waters told the crowd at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center that they're still in the early stages of choosing the songs for the film. Still, he promised some new tracks just for the compilation, including at least one original song and one original cover. Also of note: M.I.A.'s "Die Young" played throughout the trailer-like sizzle reel (which was also filled with sweet neon graphics like the poster we debuted on Thursday) and couldn't have been better suited for it. Perhaps that'll make the playlist as well.
3. No lip gloss for Russians. Rose may have been looking for her lip gloss in a scene from the footage, but she won't be getting a fresh tube from her crush. In the books, thoughtful (but gruff) Dimitri surprises his prize pupil with her beloved shade. In the movie, that won't happen. "I can't have Dimitri buy lip gloss. I can't emasculate my Russian like that!" Daniel Waters declared during the panel. "Sorry, Richelle. That might fly in estrogen-town."
4. The girls had homework. Screenwriter Daniel wasn't exactly going to let his leading ladies off easy. In fact, he gave Gayle 300 movies to watch! "Manhattan," "Clockwork Orange," "The Red Shoes," "The Pianist," and "Bullets Over Broadway" were among them. Meanwhile, director Mark gave them music to listen to, most of which was orchestral. "It all had a dark, creepy feel to it," Fry said, just before Deutch chimed in. "I would have friends get in my car and that would come on and they would be like, 'Zoey, are you OK?'"
5. So will there be a sequel? We admit it feels a little too early to ask that question and the cast has been trained to say as little as possible on the matter. "I just shook my body," Deutch laughed as she gave a shimmy when asked during the media roundtable interview. "I'm not sure what that means. Maybe it's like an instinct." Perhaps the gesture was a combination of cold and fear. Later, the 18-year-old confessed she doesn't know how to ski – much of the second book takes place at a fancy ski resort – but Lucy "loves to ski," so they've clearly been thinking about what it would be like if they were able to give their characters a round two.
6. The "Vampire Academy" fan base is big. In case you hadn't figured that out. The panel began with several women shouting, "I love you, Zoey!" And our Twitter blew up as we shared photos and videos from the day's events. So, for that, Zoey Deutch would like to say thank you. To you. Through us.