Vampire Academy (also known as Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters) is a 2014 American satirical fantasy horror film based on Richelle Mead’s 2007 best-selling novel of the same name, directed by Mark Waters, and scripted by Daniel Waters.
The film stars Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, and Lucy Fry in lead roles. It was released in North America on February 7, 2014 and globally between March and July of the same year. It was distributed in the United States by The Weinstein Company.
Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir are two 17-year-old girls who attend a hidden boarding school for Moroi (mortal, peaceful Vampires) and Dhampirs (half-vampire / half-human guardians). Rose, a rebellious Guardian-in-training and her best friend, Lissa — a royal vampire Princess — have been on the run when they are captured and returned to St.Vladamirs Academy, the very place where they believe their lives may be in most jeopardy.
Thrust back into the perils of Moroi Society and high school, Lissa struggles to reclaim her status while Rose trains with her mentor and love-interest, Dimitri, to guarantee her place as Lissa’s guardian. Rose will sacrifice everything to protect Lissa from those who intend to exploit her from within the Academy walls and the Strigoi (immortal, evil vampires) who hunt her kind from outside its sanctuary.
About the Story
The story features 17-year-old Dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) guardian-in-training Rose Hathaway, and her royal Moroi (the peaceful, mortal vampires) best friend Lissa Dragomir living discreetly within our world, having escaped from their boarding school St. Vladimir’s Academy one year prior to the story. They are soon dragged back to the Academy in Montana and rediscover the dangerous hierarchy within it, along with lies, rumors and secrets. Rose starts to form an attraction to her Russian Dhampir mentor, Dimitri Belikov.
Mysterious messages threatening Lissa appear, but it turns out to have been the work of fellow classmate Mia Rinaldi, who once dated Lissa’s brother; it wasn’t a serious relationship from his point of view, but she was clingy and focused her hatred towards Lissa after a car-crash claimed the lives of her family; she manipulated two other boys into serving her by having sex with them. A Moroi named Christian Ozera, who is viewed poorly by his peers because his parents became Strigoi (the evil, undead vampires of legend, which Moroi become if they completely drain their victims of blood), tries to romance Lissa; Rose keeps him away by lying to both.
Rose also discovers in Lissa the same rare power as St. Vladamir, Spirit – which allows the caster to heal ailments, and save the dying. At the same time, dead animals have been popping up wherever Lissa goes, including her beloved cat Oscar. At the Equinox Dance, Rose confronts Mia, believing she was responsible for all the dead animals. Mia, however, is horrified because she loves cats and gave Oscar treats.
The culprit behind this is Victor Dashkov, a previous candidate for the throne, who has contracted a disease that leaves him too feeble for the job. He wants to use Lissa to cure himself, but at the cost of her own life as continued healing would eventually take its toll on her.
Once captured, Victor explains to Rose that the reason why she bonded to Lissa (and thus sometimes able to see into her mind) is because she was “shadow-kissed”, having been brought back to life by Lissa’s magic. Victor is then freed by his daughter Natalie, who had previously been Rose and Lissa’s friend; loyal to her father, Natalie became a Strigoi by draining her crush to death, while losing her virginity to him. With Dimitri’s help, Rose is able to kill Natalie and detain Victor.
During a speech by vampire Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, Lissa steps in and gives a speech of her own, announcing that Spirit is her type of magic, and that it’s thanks to Rose (who will help keep her from straying from the person she truly is) that she can master it. The scene then shifts to a mountain cave not too far from the academy, where a massive army of Strigoi reside; they say it will be time soon.
About the Production
On May 18, 2013, it was announced that Gabriel Byrne will play Victor Dashkov, Lissa’s uncle, while Sarah Hyland will play Natalie Dashkov, Victor’s daughter and fellow student at the academy. Joely Richardson will play Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, leader of the Moroi Vampires and Dominic Sherwood will be playing Christian Ozera, Lissa’s love interest. On May 20, 2013, the producers posted a behind the scenes photograph revealing the names of a few more cast members. Casting for the film was undertaken by Marci Liroff and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton.
The title of the film was changed from Vampire Academy to Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. This is the name of the first book in many foreign languages and a different name for each film was wanted. The project was officially greenlit on April 1, 2013. The producers announced on their official Facebook page that principal photography will take place in the UK with additional photography planned in and around Montana in USA and that director, Mark Waters had started pre-production work in London. To prepare for their roles as dhampir novices and guardians, Zoey Deutch, Cameron Monaghan and Danila Kozlovsky underwent rigorous training sessions and workouts.
In June 2010, Preger Entertainment optioned the film rights to the Vampire Academy series. On July 6, 2010, they announced that producer Don Murphy had joined them to help bring the series to the big screen. On December 17, 2012, it was announced that Daniel Waters was writing the script and subsequently, it was announced, that his brother, Mark Waters would direct.
On February 1, 2013, it was announced that Zoey Deutch, Australian actress Lucy Fry, and Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky were cast as Rose Hathaway, Lissa Dragomir, and Dimitri Belikov, respectively. On April 29, 2013, it was announced that Olga Kurylenko had been cast as Headmistress Ellen Kirova. On May 10, 2013, additional cast members were announced to be Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Claire Foy, and Ashley Charles for the roles of Mason Ashford, Mia Rinaldi, Sonya Karp and Jesse Zeklos respectively.
On May 18, 2013, it was announced that Gabriel Byrne would play Victor Dashkov, Lissa’s uncle, while Sarah Hyland would play Natalie Dashkov, Victor’s daughter and fellow student at the academy. Joely Richardson played Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, leader of the Moroi Vampires and Dominic Sherwood played Christian Ozera, Lissa’s love interest. On May 20, 2013, the producers posted a behind the scenes photograph revealing the names of a few more cast members. Casting for the film was undertaken by Marci Liroff and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton.
Directed by: Mark Waters
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, Lucy Fry, Dominic Sherwood, Olga Kurylenko, Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Ashley Charles, Claire Foy, Sarah Hyland, Gabriel Byrne
Screenplay by: Daniel Waters
Production Design by: Frank Walsh
Cinematography by: Tony Pierce-Roberts
Film Editing by: Chris Gill
Costume Design by: Ruth Myers
Set Decoration by: Lisa Chugg
Music by: Rolfe Kent
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, bloody images, sexual content and language.
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: February 14, 2014