The Vampire Diaries began its reign on The CW in 2009 and was soon followed by a spinoff, The Originals, which concluded last week. With that said, writer and executive producer Julie Plec was not ready to say goodbye to that world and the legacies those shows spawned — and now, the old Salvatore home, Mystic Falls, Alaric Saltzman, and a Mikaelson are all returning to The CW lineup with a boarding school for the weird in Legacies which premieres October 25.
“Legacies is absolutely born out of my continued love for what I’m now calling the TVDU, the TVD Universe — the world of Mystic Falls and vampires, witches, werewolves, and now many other things that fall in between and outside of that,” Plec said to a room full of journalists attending an “informal session” yesterday during the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.
“At the end of The Vampire Diaries, Alaric Saltzman decided to start a boarding school for his young twin daughters who were born from a very dark and psychopathic-laden witch coven. And when he started seeing signs in his three-year-olds that they might not be able to control the power they had inside of them, he decided that they needed a home and they needed a place for people like them,” Plec recalled. “And about four years into The Originals, the daughter of Klaus Mikaelson, the nastiest, oldest, and fiercest vampire in the world, one of the original vampires needed herself a place where she could go and learn to control her powers, learn what she was capable of, and who she really was. That’s Hope Mikaelson, and this show is basically about that school and the kids that live inside those walls.”
“It’s off old Miller Road, on the edge of Mystic Falls, where the locals think it’s a troubled school for rich kids,” Julie illustrated. “But inside are a wonderful cast of characters of young supernatural beings who basically all have it in them. They’ve either been cursed by genetics or cursed by supernatural bloodlines. They have some element of them that, were they to unleash it, could be a dark thing, and they all have it in them to be the villain of our story. But through the love and the acceptance and being embraced and being around likeminded people and the tolerance and all the things that come along with being supernatural, because it’s a boarding school, we are hoping that we can show the path to all of them individually being the heroes.”
Legacies has the opportunity to revisit Mystic Falls with some roles significantly changed from the original mothership show.
“We’re having the best time with this. You know, our heroes of Vampire Diaries were the Mystic Falls High kids. Now, the Mystic Falls High kids are the townie @$$holes who are [now] the Salvatore school rivals,” Julie explained. “Our kids at the school have to suck it up, because the whole point [and] the single most important rule is, like, don’t fraternize with the locals and don’t let anybody in on the secret of who you are or what you can do. In the second episode, we had to do this annual ‘show up and play flag football for charity’ against the local school. They [at the Salvatore School] have to lose every year. They have one job, and it is to lose spectacularly. But this first time, it’s just, like, these kids, this bully and this mean girl are just poking and poking and poking, and so our kids really have to control themselves. And that, of course, goes terribly wrong,” she teased.
Familiar faces like Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) and Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen) will be seen in early episodes of the show, but they are deliberately setting out for Legacies to be easy to follow for those who don’t know “The TVDU.” There will, of course, be some Easter eggs and nostalgia placements. “We’d like to do the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant. We’d like to have a shoutout to Founders Day. We’d like to have little character names sprinkled across our town square. But for the most part, the mythology is a new mythology. A lot of the supernatural beings that we’ll be opening our doors to are things that you never would have seen on The Vampire Diaries. You don’t need to know anything other than kind of just have a love for teen soap and/or like creatures of the night, you know, and then you’re pretty golden,” Plec said.
One face that we won’t be seeing immediately is that of fan favorite Caroline Forbes, played by Candice King, who is also supposed to be a major player in the Salvatore School.
“We’re going to hear her and feel her a lot. I don’t know when we’ll see her. I, of course, would like to see her anytime. The door is open there wide,” Plec says. “The girls [the Saltzman twins] are dealing with the fact that their mother, who has raised them, is a little absentee lately. They believe she’s off on recruiting missions, and Alaric knows that she’s actually off doing other things that have to do with the long-term survival of their daughters. So the mystery of ‘Where is Caroline? Why isn’t she coming home for their birthday?’ that kind of thing is going to be part of our story, in the hopes that one day we’ll be able to have her walk through the doors as well,” Julie teased.
How long does Julie Plec want to see Legacies go?
“I’ve said out loud I want this show to run longer than Supernatural,” she said hopefully. “Although Supernatural does, in fact, have to end at some point for me to beat that. So that may never happen. But I want the school to continue to generate new students and new generations while also keeping the characters that remain there that fit around as long as possible.”
See some new photos from the Legacies series premiere as well as a trailer below!