Julie Plec talked to the CW about the upcoming Vampire Diaries spinoff titled ‘The Originals’. Find out if Daniel Gillies (Elijah) is joining the cast, how’s Hayley involved and why was New Orleans chosen as a setting for the story.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The idea of doing a spinoff has been around for a while. Why was the time right to pull the trigger?
JULIE PLEC: It’s actually something that we’ve been talking about for two years, that we contemplated trying to get off its feet last year, but there was just too much work to do in too little time. So that gave us an opportunity this year to spend a lot more time putting it together — seeing if, obviously, our actors had any interest whatsoever continuing the life of these characters [Laughs] and if there was a story to tell. It all came together in a way that we finally felt would not detract from our most important baby right now, The Vampire Diaries, and would give us a chance to expand the universe with characters that we’ve had another year to get to know.
What can you tease about the April 25 episode?
The idea is that a turn of events in Mystic Falls sends Klaus to New Orleans to solve a mystery. He gets word that some people are making a move against him that might concern him. So he heads to New Orleans to try to figure who’s plotting against him and what they’re up to. And in unfolding that mystery, it takes him back to a town that several hundred years ago, he was actually one of the original settlers of and helped build. He reacquaints himself with a vampire that he actually turned back in the day, Marcel, who has created a whole set of rules and a whole society for the supernatural community that he’s in charge of — sort of tipping his hat to Klaus and saying, “You taught me everything I know.” So Klaus’ protegé is now the big king of the supernatural community in New Orleans and Klaus is stepping back into that.
How would you describe Marcel?
He is the life of the party. He is diabolical, and dangerous, and he is a rock star. If anything, he’s that kind of hard-partying, hard-living vampire who knows how to enjoy the most out of life in the French Quarter.
And so if it were to go to series, New Orleans would remain the setting.
Yes. When I talked about it to the network and the studio, I said, “In its own way, the French Quarter, with its less than 3,000 inhabitants, is the ultimate small town.” So it’s still a small-town story, it’s just a town that we all know pretty well. We all have our own party fantasy that we’ve either lived or wanted to live in New Orleans.
Fans have been wondering what could keep Klaus occupied, and how Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) will get involved.
That is all part of the big mystery. I will say no one should assume anything about the way this is gonna play out, because with luck, it will be a nice surprise for everybody.