Tag: True Blood

5 Bloody Fantastic Vampire Adaptations: From Book to Screen

Vampires are climbing out of their coffins and onto our TV screens—and we’re rushing to invite them in. For centuries, vampires have been both monster and metaphor, a representation of anything from immigration, to capitalism, to homosexuality. These creatures have been whatever we needed them to be… including sexy, sparkly, teen heartthrobs when the cultural zeitgeist demanded it. But mostly, they’ve been damn entertaining. Whether they’re scary or scary seductive, vampires continue to be the subject of our collective fascination. Here are five phenomenal onscreen adaptations of the most unique vampire novels out there.

1. NOS4A2

 

Listen, feminism and horror don’t always coincide (we all know which sort of dalliance gets you killed first in a slasher film). But AMC’s adaptation of international bestseller Joe Hill’s Nos4a2 is changing that—and the conception of vampires as a whole. Is unforgettable villain Charles Talent Manx scary? Oh, hell yes. Sexy? Well, he certainly doesn’t sparkle… but he IS played by Zachary Quinto. Charlie Manx prefers souls to blood and children to waifish babes in billowing nightgowns. Pretty terrifying. But the children aren’t frightened when Manx spirits them away in his Rolls Royce Wraith. They’re going to Christmasland, Manx’s psychological lair packed to the brim with every child’s dreams—and every parent’s nightmare.

Enter Vic McQueen, a tough teenager from a blue-collar town in the capable hands of director Jami O’Brien, who has, according to author Joe Hill, delved deeply into the feminist themes inherent in the story. A kickass female protagonist AND a kickass female showrunner? Yes please. Not only does the show capture the essence of the 80s, but it also captures the precarious balance of hope and resentment in its protagonist and the nuanced portrayal of her adolescence.

Get ready for the premiere on June 2nd for a vampire adaptation with some real soul.

 Tune in to AMC on Sunday,  June 2nd 10/9c.

2. interview with a vampire

 

Image Via The Today Show

This Anne Rice adaptation absolutely killed at the box office, earning $100m+ over budget. Part of the reason audiences so often despise film adaptations is the lack of author involvement—not an issue here. Rice penned the screenplay herself, ensuring a distinct creative vision authentic to her iconic work. And there may be more where that came from. At seventy-five, Rice has reacquired the film and television rights to her works and plans to release a Game-of-Thrones-style television epic. Currently, she’s at work on a ‘Bible’ plotting out the first two seasons.

The film (and novel) is as dark as its origin: Rice penned the short story after the tragic death of her daughter, Michelle, at age 5. The nostalgia and emotion in the film is even more prevalent than any sense of terror, and that’s only one of the reasons why fans love it. Many have fallen for the rich portrayal of New Orleans, a city many consider to be the protagonist. Oh, and bonus: while Anne Rice didn’t initially intend Louis & Lestat as a same-sex couple raising a child, she says she is all for that more modern interpretation.

 

3. TRUE BLOOD

 

'True Blood'
Image Via HBO

 

This charming Southern Gothic comes with a whole lot of the debauchery that HBO is known for. Charlaine Harris’ vampires might’ve hit the screen at the Twilight peak—pretty ironic, given that series is a Mormon author’s metaphor for chastity—but it’s overflowing with sex and blood. Campy, steamy, and utterly intoxicating, the show racked up 13 million average viewers per episode, making it the highest-rated HBO show that doesn’t involve the Starks of Winterfell.

Author Charlaine Harris has compared the vampires’ struggles for rights with that of the LGBT+ community, some allusions more obvious than others (“coming out of the coffin,” “God Hates Fangs”). Both the TV show and novels feature copious LGBT+ characters, and let’s just say the show is action-packed regardless of whether that action is fighting, or, you know…

 

4. let the right one in

 

Image Via IndieWire

Adapted from a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One in is such an effective vampire movie in large part because it doesn’t aim to be a horror. Director Tomas Alfredson had no background in horror, and so he chose instead to discard some of the darker parts of the novel (Håkan’s pedophilia, for instance) and focus on the main characters’ interpersonal relationship. Disinterested in creating an outright genre film, Alfredson commented, “I suppose the strongest elements of fear are the fantasies of the scary things that could happen… When scary things do happen, you tend not to be so afraid — it’s the fantasy that’s the scariest.”

The film is dominated by sparse sets and gray lighting, the murders that occur all the more sinister because of their strangeness. Audiences feel uneasy as a small girl takes down a grown man. And audiences feel even worse when they realize Oskar, a bullied child with violent revenge fantasies, may be more dangerous than the vampire. In Let the Right One In, childhood innocence is nothing so soft and harmless.

 

5. Vampire Academy

 

Vampire Academy Film Adaptation
Image Via 27th Letter Productions

 

With taglines “Friendship is Forever” and “They Suck at School,” the franchise delivers on its implicit promise: that this is a campy teen story with all the debauchery you’d expect from a remote vampire boarding school. While Richelle Mead’s portrayal of adolescence may be classic, her take on vampires is anything but. The internationally-bestselling series depicts the social stratification between Moroi—rich, ambiguously European teens who drink human blood and can use elemental magic—and their mostly-human Dhampir bodyguards. Oh, and then there’s the Strigoi, who drink blood and, more importantly, kill their victims.

The series (and the movie!) is just as much ski slope shenanigans as it is international-murder-mystery, a romp across genres with a delightfully mouthy protagonist. Although the film was not especially high-grossing, the source material has sold over 8 million copies and topped the NYT Bestseller List on numerous occasions.

 

Featured Image Via AMC.

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‘True Blood’ Actor Nelsan Ellis Dies At 39

Nelsan Ellis, most famous for his role as short-order cook Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s ‘True Blood’, has passed away after complications with heart failure. This was confirmed by his manager Emily Gerson Saines.

 

Born in Harvey, Illinois in 1977, Ellis went to Thorn Ridge High School before attending Illinois State University. Ellis then earned his B.F.A. from the prestigious Juilliard School, where he also found himself a class above his eventual ‘True Blood’ co-star, Rutina Wesley.

 

The Huffington Post

Via The Huffington Post

 

In 2008, Ellis joined the cast for ‘True Blood’, a HBO dark horror fantasy television show based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Since then, he has remained on the main cast for all seven seasons. 

 

Before he started playing his first gay character, Ellis discussed some of his concerns with NewNowNext in an interview. “I didn’t care what straight people thought. I cared what gay people thought, to be quite honest,” he said. “Because Alan didn’t want a caricature. He said that quite early on, because I was a caricature the first audition. My concern was if I was going to offend anybody. I don’t want to offend nobody.”

 

In order to make sure this did not happen, Ellis informed The Hollywood Reporter that he primarily based the character of Lafayette Reynolds on his late mom. 

 

A

Via The Hollywood Reporter

 

“My mother was a tomboy, and Alan Ball wanted this character to be feminine and masculine,” he said. “Every time I play this character — because my mother died — I have a piece of my mama, I have a piece of her memories and who she was. She died in the third season, and my favorite part of Lafayette is every time I play him, I’m doing my mother.”

 

Following his great success on TV, he started taking part in films such as ‘The Help,’ ‘Little Boxes,’ ‘The Butler,’ ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment,’ and ‘Get On Up.’ Most recently, he also starred in CBS’s fifth season of ‘Elementary.’

 

The Help

Ellis as Henry the Waiter in The Help (2011) | Via Dreamworks

 

Yesterday, news suddenly broke that Ellis has died at only 39 years old. HBO and ‘True Blood’ creator and executive producer Alan Ball both posted statements regarding Ellis’ passing.

 

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement, “Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of ‘True Blood.’ Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.”

 

‘True Blood’ creator, Alan Ball said, “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.”

 

In response to his death, several ‘True Blood’ lead stars used social media platforms to express their mournings and best regards.

 

 

Besides cast members from ‘True Blood’, other celebrities such as Jessica Chastain and Anna Camp also expressed grief towards such a terrible loss.

 

 

‘The Help’ co-star Octavia Spencer was the first person to address his tragic passing on Instagram.

 

Ellis is survived by his son, his father, a grandmother as well as seven siblings.

 

His final film, ‘True To The Game’, was adapted on the novel of the same name by Teri Woods. Directed by Preston A. Whitmore II and produced by Manny Halley, this film will arrive in theaters in September.

 

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