Today the New York Times profiles Justin Cronin, the author of vampire novel The Passage, “an epic, multimillion-dollar, 766-page novel that stars bloodthirsty creatures that run in packs and savagely kill people at night. And he’s planning to turn it into a trilogy.” If this reminds you of Twilight, well, pshaw — that is so reductive of you. “I have not read ‘Twilight,’ Cronin tells the Times, explaining that he was brought up on highbrow vampire fare like Bela Lugosi’s 1931 Dracula. “My relationship to vampire material definitely predates the recent renaissance,” he says. With this quote, Cronin performs the defining act of a person involved with a vampire project in the post-Twilight age: knocking, distancing, and/or condescending to Twilight.
Here’s The Vampire Diaries’ executive producer Kevin Williamson (also of Scream and Dawson’s Creek) explaining how his show totally liked vampires before they were cool.
“This actually came out before ‘Twilight.” The series of books is from 1990-91, so one would wonder if Stephenie Meyer (whose ‘Twilight’ came out in 2005) read them. The very first book is very much ‘Twilight,’ [but] … I kept reading and then I said, ‘Oh, I get it. The vampires are the way into the story and not the whole story. It’s called ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ but there’s a lot going on in those diaries, a lot happening in this town, which has a rich, huge history and mythology with the ghosts and goblins and creatures of the night. It just opens up into this whole big world.”
Anna Paquin on how True Blood isn’t anything like Twilight:
“They’re completely different age groups that they’re trying to appeal to. It wouldn’t be appropriate for teenagers to be watching our show. I wouldn’t have been allowed to.”
HBO president Michael Lombardo says that True Blood fills a whole other niche:
“Vampires work for a very specific demo. It skews female. But True Blood is [attracting] young men, young women, older women, older men. It defies all of those expected truths about the vampire genre.”
Krysten Ritter, who will be in Clueless director Amy Heckerling’s new vampire movie, Vamps, told us it’s really not a vampire flick:
“Amy’s been working on this movie for a long time — it’s her passion project. But Vamps is first and foremost an Amy Heckerling movie, not a vampire movie, like Twilight”
Certainly, all of these people have points: The novels The Vampire Diaries and True Blood are based on did come out before Twilight; True Blood really isn’t for a tween audience; Cronin probably has always been interested in vampires. And yet, we would find it refreshing to hear someone like Cronin say, “My relationship to vampire material definitely predates the recent renaissance, but when, thanks to Twilight, I realized I could probably get a $3.75 million advance on a trilogy about bloodsuckers, I became far more re-interested than I otherwise might have been!” We promise to keep an eye out for just such a quote.