EFM 2013: The Weinstein Co. Acquires Blood Sisters: Vampire Academy for Valentine's Day 2014 Release
In one of the biggest U.S. deals ever to emerge from the European Film Market in Berlin, The Weinstein Co. (no doubt hoping for a franchise) has won a bidding war for Stateside rights to Mark Waters' adaptation of Blood Sisters, the first book in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series.
Per THR, insiders say the deal is valued at over $30 million between the acquisition fee and marketing commitment. TWC struck the pact with financiers Reliance Entertainment and IM Global and has a rolling option on subsequent installments. At least two Hollywood studios were bidding for U.S. rights to the movie, which we learned last week will star Zooey Deutch, Lucy Fry, and Danila Kozlovsky (more on that here). The script was written by Daniel Waters (Heathers), brother of director Mark (Mean Girls).
Blood Sisters, set to go into production in early summer and hit theaters on February 14, 2014, marks Harvey Weinstein's first foray into the young adult franchise arena. The Vampire Academy book series has sold more than 8 million copies in 35 countries. To date there are six titles. "I am thrilled to be working on the first feature for Vampire Academy. This series is fantastic, and I am excited to bring it to the screen for diehard fans and introduce the stories to a whole new audience," said Weinstein.
The film will be produced by Michael Preger and his Preger Entertainment banner, Angry Films’ Don Murphy and Susan Montford, and Kintop Pictures’ Deepak Nayer. IM Global’s Stuart Ford is executive producer. Stated Murphy: "The addition of Harvey and the TWC distribution and marketing team gives us the opportunity to present this wonderful franchise to the world in a bold, unique fashion and only adds to Vampire's considerable momentum."
Set in the present day against a hidden universe of vampires, half-humans, alchemy, and magic. Richelle Mead shifts the focus from the brooding male vampires of Twilight, "True Blood," and "The Vampire Diaries" to that of a strong, yet flawed 17-year-old female who confronts her world with grit, determination, and lots of moxie. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, half human/half vampire, and guardian of the Moroi, a race of peaceful and magical mortal vampires who can walk in the daylight, survive by feeding off willing blood donors, grow old, and die. Hidden deep in the forests of Montana is St. Vladimir's Academy, where Moroi and dhampirs learn to take their place in Moroi society.
Rose must master her inherited abilities as a dhampir and earn the approval of the Royal Council as guardian to Princess Lissa, her best friend and sole heir of one of the twelve Royal families of Moroi. Rose and Lissa share a mysterious psychic bond and sense of destiny, but first they must survive an intense social scene, politics, and the physical challenges of Moroi life at the Academy. Outside the sanctuary of St. Vladimir's waits their greatest threat of all, the Strigoi, a race of bloodthirsty immortal vampires and predators of the Moroi.
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