Changing things up! The Vampire Academy cast and creators tell J-14 exclusively that the adjustments they made from the book series were to “modernize” the Peacock TV show and make it “cool, edgy and sexy.”

“It’s modernized. It’s timely. It’s 2022,” Jonetta Kaiser, who plays Sonya Karp, teases. “It’s [the] books written 15 years ago expanded upon. The characters have more of a storyline, which you may not have seen in the books, or if it was just jammed into a movie, you know. We have one-hour episodes and 10 of them.”

The Vampire Academy show — which premieres via Peacock on Thursday, September 15 — is based on the book series of the same name by Richelle Mead.

“Basically, this is a story about two best friends navigating this vampire world where there’s a class system, and they’re basically in completely opposite ends of it,” Daniela Nieves, who plays Lissa Dragomir, explains. “There’s just a lot of tension between their friendship and them being able to live their life the way they want to. Then, there are a lot of secrets uncovered. It’s sexy, it’s fun. There’s bad vampires that show up into the world.”

The 'Vampire Academy' Is Set to Be a TV Series: Everything We Know
Jose Haro/Peacock

For creators Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre, turning the book series they loved into a TV show wasn’t much of a challenge. They tell J-14 that the story is still “timely.” However, they did make some adjustments.

“The political system is starting to come apart at the seams, the class system is pulling people apart, and how that affects this core beautiful friendship at the center of Lissa and Rose, and what they’ll have to do to maintain this friendship that the world is trying to pull them apart,” Marguerite says. ” There are certain things that, we’ve tightened up. The age between Rose and Dimitri, because, that was a little something that we might not do now. She’s of age. She’s still learning, but she’s of age. He’s also not her teacher … it’s all a little bit different, but the romance is there. The relationship is still there, and actually the depth of their relationship is really strong.”

Julie went on to say that they wanted to “adapt [the show] to our modern times.” She explains, “It’s 15 years, a lot’s happened in the world. … The best part of it is, if you’re a fan of the books, everything that you loved about the books will be in there somewhere.”

J. August Richards, who plays Victor Dashkov, noted that the books are “respected” by the cast and creators throughout the entire series. “The spirit is important to us all,” he adds. “I hope [fans] come along for the ride. I think that they’ll really, really feel it.”

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