THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Julie Plec Teases THE ORIGINALS Backdoor Spinoff, Potential Crossovers, and More
April 24, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
About three and a half months after the idea was first made public, THE ORIGINALS, the backdoor pilot for a potential THE VAMPIRE DIARIES spinoff, is finally airing tomorrow night.
“Klaus has gotten wind of witches in New Orleans making a move against him and of course he doesn’t like that, and is especially paranoid because of all the Silas shenanigans, and so he heads off to get to the bottom of that mystery,” THE VAMPIRE DIARIES executive producer Julie Plec teased of what kicks off the episode. “And Elijah, believing his brother to be up to something, follows him to try and get to the bottom of that mystery. And as the brothers are in New Orleans, we see they have a deep, rich history there. In fact, all the Original family, which at the time was Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, and Kol, lived there off and on for several centuries and were part of the original founders of New Orleans; [they] laid the original bricks of the French Quarter. They have a history there, and as Elijah says at the end of the episode, ‘I can count on one hand the amount of times we were happy as a family and that was one of them.'”
Of course, things aren’t entirely smooth in New Orleans.
“We will learn all things were not great there,” Plec said. “There were power struggles between the witches and the vampires; there’s a lot of treachery and betrayal brewing and Klaus finds himself popped right into the middle of it.”
Going forward, if THE ORIGINALS does take off, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES canvas will look considerably different next season…something Plec admitted they had to think through before they moved forward with this backdoor spinoff.
“Honestly, we had to think about it, and there were two things going for us: one of which is just a clear logic, and one of which is in a writer’s head thing,” she shared. “And the logic of it being okay for them to move into another world is that it’s graduation, we’re moving into college time, there’s an opportunity to introduce a lot of new characters next year — new people in high school world and the college world. At least one of our characters is going to go off to college somewhere and we’ll follow them.”
“And that sort of dovetails into the writer’s head of reasons to do it: the greatest struggle as writers of this show is we like our villains to be on the good guys’ team more often than not,” Plec continued “And we like our heroes to be villains. There’s not much separating the good guys and the bad guys in our world. When you’re trying to service Stefan and Elena and Damon and Klaus and Rebekah and Caroline and Tyler, etc. etc., it becomes very difficult to tell those stories. So yes, we could tell Originals stories all day long, they’re so fun to write, they’re so fun to write for, but it’s at the expense of these other characters we know and love. So if anything, I think it’ll reset the balance and the scales a bit to our original ensemble…and allow us to get back into focusing on them as our heroes, as we slowly introduce new faces.”
But even if the shows do split, Plec noted the intention is for the series to use crossovers much like WB did years ago with BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL.
“Yeah, I think the fun of it is for BUFFY and ANGEL [was] there’s no greater days then when Faith, or Cordy, or Spike would roll through there, and actually become regular characters on ANGEL,” Plec noted. “That for me was thrilling. The sad thing about BUFFY and ANGEL was neither show could afford to lose Buffy or Angel for more than a couple of days, so you didn’t really get to do as much with their relationship as you wanted to. But if we could find the way to lighten Elena’s [role] in one episode [of VAMPIRE DIARIES], what’s to say Katherine can’t show up in New Orleans [for THE ORIGINALS]? Certainly, what’s to keep Tyler from showing up to say his piece? Or Caroline, to pursue whatever nagging interest she may or may not have in Klaus if he’s still gone? I think there’s an abundance of opportunities, and I’m not shy about it. I think the more we can populate THE ORIGINALS world with these faces of our characters that our Originals have been so deeply embedded with, the more real it will actually feel.”
And while Plec is almost certain to be busy next season (potentially with THE ORIGINALS and/or the other pilot she has in contention at The CW), that doesn’t mean she’ll be saying goodbye to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.
“The goal is not to take a step back as much as to share the wealth,” Plec reassured. “Which will be difficult and challenging, but THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is so deeply embedded in my soul, and I’m such a terrible control freak, that it would be hard to turn away and say, ‘Good luck, everybody!'”
So many of our Mystic Falls crew may be graduating from high school by the end of the year, but Plec won’t be among those moving on.
“I’m going to be the fifth year senior that sticks around and throws the parties!” she joked.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs Thursdays at 8 PM on The CW.
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