Vampire Wish List 2011
With the New Year comes reflections of what was, and with them contemplations of what may yet be. Along those lines, allow me to share some personal wishes for vampire films and media in the upcoming year--and invite you to share yours.
First, let the character of Pam on "True Blood" find a love interest. She is easily one of the most interesting characters on the show, yet has generally been in the tall shadow of her maker, Eric. The actress playing her offered a rather fun scenario as the fourth season came to close. Pam, she noted, has always been in control or at least that was her aura--the one who kept it together and never lost her cool. Even managing to be tortured with style, she inspired the obvious idea of Pam as a self-assured seducer. But what if the opposite happened? Suppose she actually fell in love, fell hard, and became flustered at actually caring for someone so very much? Wouldn't that be adorable? Let that happen!
Everybody knows Dario Argento will start filming a 3D version of "Dracula" this year. Maybe it seems like a small wish, unworthy of doubt, but we cannot but hope that this version proves superlative? Given his past achievements, that wouldn't be too much to ask. On the other hand, Mr. Argento's films tend to be short of characterization and a bit long on style.
Let a good writer and director take up the challenge of rebooting Anne Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles" for film. If need be I can come up with dozen casting possibilities--from Johnathan Rhys Myers as Lestat to Barbara Hershey as Gabrielle--but what really matters is who ends up taking up the mantle of shepherding the project. Look what happened when Christopher Nolan took up Batman!
Meanwhile, let some other wonderful vampire literature become adapted for the screen. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's books about the Count of Saint Germain contain at least the potential to be just as exciting as "The Tudors" ever were. Only one film has ever been made from Polidori's "The Vampyre" and isn't it about time that changed?
Another wish--someone interesting joining the cast of "The Vampire Diaries" who doesn't look like a model. My initial reaction upon seeing the pilot echoed my own viewing past and what expectations arose from the words vampire-in-high-school. In vain did I seek out a character like Willow Rosenberg in "Buffy" or Owen in "Let Me In." Where were the lonely ones, the kids who didn't fit in and didn't look like one of the in-crowd? I want to see someone like that join the cast.
While we're at it, when the motion picture "Let Me In" comes out on DVD this February, let it sell like hotcakes! Given its complex subject matter and R-rating, the film garnered fantastic reviews but tepid box office. But if like "Austin Powers" a decade or so back, it became a huge hit in DVD sales and rentals, what could more encourage the production of equally high-minded and well-crafted vampire films in the future?
How about Hammer Films announcing a brand new cycle of Dracula movies, in the vein (sorry) of what initially made their studio famous? But this time let Dracula be a fully developed character in his own right, pitted in adventure after adventure against a Van Helsing who also returns. So easy to imagine the possibilities...Andy Serkis (of Gollum fame) as Renfield, such lovelies as Felicity Jones or Rachel Hurd Wood cast as targets of the Vampire Lord's lust, tributes sprinkled throughout to such classics as "Taste The Blood of Dracula" or "Vampire Circus." That could prove almost too fun for words!
Finally, I want an original vampire series--novels, television, web, whatever--that breaks new ground and excites fans in a way that "Forever Knight" once did, or "True Blood" did a few years back. Not a replica of girl-meets-vampire, nor a formulaic vampire detective, nor a typical reluctant nosferatu trying to atone for past sins. Not that those are bad tropes, but how about somebody successfully tell a story that surprises without going overboard? Imagine "Twilight" through the adult lens of something like "House MD" or maybe a series that resembled "Kindred The Embraced" coupled with the sensibilities of "Criminal Minds" or "Dexter."
So give--what is on your wish list?