'Legacies' Books First 'Vampire Diaries' Vets but Will Follow Its Own Path

"There’s a lot of history that’s infused," series star Danielle Rose Russell said during the show's Comic-Con panel. "But it’s a complete show on its own."
Courtesy of The CW

Just over a year after The Originals executive producer Julie Plec announced that the series would be ending with its fifth season (the finale airs Aug. 1), the next chapter in the story is set to start with The CW’s Legacies.

The series follows Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) two years after the events of The Originals finale, as she adjusts to life at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. “On the last season of The Originals, Hope screamed and cried a lot,” Russell pointed out. “It’s been really nice to see Hope have a little bit of normalcy. It’s been nice to infuse my own teenage experience in this role. In those two years, a lot has happened…she’s changed a lot, she’s matured a lot. She’s battling all these different things inside of her, [including being] one of her kind.”

Though romance will be in the cards, the current era has led to a key storytelling shift. “We made the decision to not have the 100-year-old dude [a la Twilight’s Edward or The Vampire Diaries' Stefan and Damon] chasing a 17-year-old girl,” Plec said. “The vampires of our school will be the appropriate age.”

With Alaric (Matt Davis) in charge of the school, that makes Davis the only castmember of the Vampire Diaries universe who has appeared in the mothership and its spinoffs (so far). “I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” Davis said. “When Alaric was brought on in season one [of TVD], it was only supposed to be a four-episode arc. I’m glad Alaric pulled off the hat trick.… I’m thrilled we get to do this trilogy.”



Alaric’s twin daughters are also at the Salvatore School, which will lead to plenty of father-daughter drama, not to mention tension with Hope. “[The twins are] definitely a product of their upbringing,” Plec teased.

“That was the most exciting thing for me — seeing the personalities of my daughters emerge,” Davis said. “I love the relationships between Alaric and his daughters.…You’ll see Alaric has a fatherly relationship with Hope, and that creates an attention struggle with his daughters and Hope.”

But what about Hope’s relationship with her father, Klaus (Joseph Morgan)? “Hope is Klaus’ legacy, hence the name of the show,” Plec said. “Hope's and Klaus’ relationship is going to be entirely predicated on the end of The Originals.”

One familiar face has signed on to appear on Legacies: Zach Roerig, who played Matt Donovan on The Vampire Diaries. (TVD star Paul Wesley is also on tap to direct an episode.) As for others, Caroline (Candice King) will be mentioned, “and if we have my way, we will see her face a lot,” Plec said. And the door is open to everyone else to pop in, if they so choose.

Legacies will also feature familiar locations to fans of the previous shows, including the Salvatore home. “It’s cool to step on the stage of the Salvatore house,” Plec said of the newly rebuilt set. “You feel Ian [Somerhalder]’s smirk and Paul’s hair in the bones of the set.”

However, the team was clear potential Legacies viewers don’t have to be Vampire Diaries or Originals superfans to get on board with the new series. “There’s a lot of history that’s infused,” Russell said. “But it’s a complete show on its own.”

“I didn’t go to boarding school, so movies like Dead Poet’s Society always captivated me,” Plec said. “I like to say this show is my love letter to Harry Potter and Buffy, delivered in our universe.”

Watch the trailer for Legacies below. The series premieres Oct. 25 on The CW.