Where to start, where to start?? Today LKH posted the official press release (click link above to view) for the Anita Blake TV series/movie (not really clear which it is) to be aired in the summer of 2010. If you had told me this five years ago, I would have been jumping for joy. Today, I am more than a little unenthusiastic about the project. Feelings for the direction of the series aside, it feels a little like jumping on the bandwagon, which is something that Hollywood has down to a T. I can hear the arguments starting already. The Anita books have been out for more than 15 years! They predated the cult-like Twilight phenomenon. The books are less paranormal romance/epic love story with a supernatural twist and more gritty urban fantasy with a hard-boiled detective slant.
Yeah, yeah. I've heard it all before. But the reality is this. Hollywood doesn't like to take chances. So it waits until it sees something that works (letting someone else assume the risk) and then tries to replicate it to death and make as much money as possible before the trend crashes and burns. And it will crash and burn. The market will become over saturated with crappy vampire media and there will undoubtedly be a backlash where folks think that writing or filming vampires is cliche and over done. And who can blame them? It's already happened before folks!
Only a handful of vampire based TV shows have even been successful in the last twenty years and it has nothing to do with how sexy or gory the actors are. People like things because they are fresh and different. Something new. Not because they are a poor imitation of the last book they read or film they saw. I love vampires, have been reading and writing them for years, even when they weren't cool and I will continue to do so, but even I want to throw up in my mouth a little at the mere mention of Twilight.
Is there room for a very well made successful TV show or movie...of course. Look at True Blood. It is edgy and eclectic, graphic and sinful. It somehow manages to keep the charm of the Southern Vampire books while creating a show that is so drastically fresh it does the vampire name justice. I'm all about vampire media I can be proud of! But I worry that the Anita movie won't cut it and will be one more nail in the coffin (pun intended).
Other questions: Will the show take on the tone of the older books or the newer books?(As you probably know, I'm an old school fan and haven't been able to get into the last two or three books, so my opinion of the show will probably be skewed depending on which approach they take.) However, given there are so many books, maybe it won't follow the plot of one single book, but simply take on the characters and relationships and create a totally new story premise?
Regardless, I can give you a whole host of fresh vamp-friendly reads to get you through the long wait for the next vamp series/movie you're waiting for, be it New Moon, True Blood or Anita Blake. For starters, check out the link below for Wicked Game.