Kevin Williamson, executive producer of the new CW show "The Vampire Diaries," immediately wants to address the befanged, bloodsucking elephant in the room -- his show is not Twilight. If anything, his inspiration goes back to Dark Shadows, the 1966 ABC soap that featured vampire Barnabas Collins and his brood of supernatural beasties interacting with a small town. Of course, now that Tim Burton is making a movie version of the show, Paul Wesley will have to fight off comparisons to Johnny Depp...
Granted, there's also the Vampire Diaries book series, which Williamson pledges to honor. But the books came out in the '90s and are "very earnest. I'm not an earnest kind of guy," Williamson said.Fortunately, he's got writer Julie Plec on his team. "She's the Twilight freak and I'm the True Blood freak, so that should balance us out."
Earnestness aside, Williamson said these books were a natural fit for his sensibility. "Every single character [in the book] is dealing with death, loss and life -- which is perfect for me, because everything I write about is pretty much death and loss and hopelessness." Fun!
Williamson promised the fans at Comic Con that friends wiht fangs aren't the only otherworldly creatures haunting the town. "The town of Mystic Falls has a lot of things that go bump in the night."
The first things we night-bumping things we meet, of course, are Stefan and Damon, vampire brothers with very different sensibilities. And they, too are unwilling to go compare themselves with the not-yet-dark counterparts. "I just want to create a character independent of that," said actor Paul Wesley, who plays the romantic, brooding, but non-sparkly Stefan. "Besides, I think nine out of 10 girls would throw me under a bus to get to Edward Cullen." The crowd disagreed.
Elena will learn Stefan's bloodsucking secret in the first three or four episodes, Williamson promises. And fans will learn if the Vampire Diaries has staying power after the pilot airs on Sept. 10. We hope it does -- the pilot is sexy, funny, and lots of fun. Besides -- Dawson's with Fangs? Who can resist that?