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July 25, 2009

'Diaries' panel: 'No way I’m going to step on Twilight'

By Lesley Goldberg

“The Vampire Diaries,” the CW’s attempt to catch some of the “Twilight” and “True Blood” hysteria, made its Comic-Con debut to an enthusiastic crowd at Comic-Con, screening the pilot which drew an equal number of cheers and jeers for its tween dialogue.

Expressing some reservations about trying to hop on the massive resurgence the vampire genre currently has, series writer/executive producer Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek”) said he initially said no to doing a series and big-screen version of the ’90s books written by L.J. Smith on which the series is based.

“There’s no way I’m going to step on ‘Twilight,’” Williamson said when he was first approached. Co-writer Julie Plec, however, encouraged him to keep reading Smith’s young adult books and that’s when the backstory and mythology lured him in.

“I got into the series because of ‘Twilight’ and ‘True Blood,’ ” Williamson said. “I love those shows, that’s why I wanted to get into the vampire genre.”

Williamson added that he has always loved the genre and used to watch ’60s “sexy soap opera” “Dark Shadows” as a kid.

“‘Vampire Diaries’ has a little bit of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ in it with creatures that go beyond vampires,” he added.

When asked how the CW series will stand out from its vampire classmates, Plec was quick to share one of the show’s mottos: “Nobody sparkles,” in a reference to “Twilight’s” Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).
“Everybody has a different set of rules,” she added. “(‘Vampire Diaries’) is not crucifixes, silver, garlic — there’s not a lot that can hurt them; we’re exploring a lot of ways to bring down (evil brother) Damon.”

Series star Paul Wesley, who plays Stefan, the better half of the vampire brothers fighting over Elana (Nina Dobrev), admitted that he’s already being compared with Pattinson.

“It makes me so uncomfortable,” he said. “Nine of 10 girls in this rom would throw me under a bus to get to Edward Cullen.”

Fans, however, disagreed.

“Vampire Diaries” premieres in September on the CW.

The Live Feed's 2009 Comic-Con Archive! Top news, new trailers and fun stuff from San Diego

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