'The Originals' Cast, Creator Preview a "Stronger" Marcel, Davina's Struggle and Jason Dohring's Intro

The Originals KeyArt - P 2015
The CW Network

The third season of The Originals will focus on the sire lines, but with that comes a few new characters and a whole host of new problems.

While Andrew Lees' Lucien -- one of the first vampires turned by the Mikaelsons -- comes into the series with an air of mystery, Jason Dohring's Detective Will Kinney joins the canvas as a human who just wants to figure out what is going on in New Orleans. Needless to say, both characters will shake up the show for very different reasons.

The Originals creator Julie Plec, star Charles Michael Davis and Dohring tell The Hollywood Reporter what's in store.

Marcel is in charge.

Season three opens up with Marcel (Davis) firmly in charge of the vampire community in New Orleans. And in the most CW move possible, "he converted the church into a gym," Davis says with a laugh. "It's very New Orleans: you put another layer over it. So the church, this spiritual place, has now become a place of violence where he can scout for new recruits."

"Now Klaus gave him back the keys to the city, so... you'll find him in a little bit of a stronger position than where he was in season two," Davis continues.

But Marcel has learned a few lessons between his stints a leader of the vampires. "He's going about it a little bit differently," says Plec. "He's being very picky about who he opens the door to that community to. ... He's moving and shaking in his inner circles in the ways that we love so much."

Detective Kinney enlists Cami (Leah Pipes) and Vincent's (Yusuf Gatewood) help.

Dohring makes his Originals debut in the season three premiere, as Will sets out to get to the bottom of a string of bizarre homicides.

"There's a gruesome discovery made in a courtyard. He calls in his friend and confidant, Vincent, to help solve it, because he's into the occult and he knows that sort of thing," teases Dohring. "He winds up working with Cami as well to build a profile for who this guy could be. He doesn't know anything is out of the ordinary, particularly, until maybe the sixth episode in. Along the way, there's things that Cami is not saying that are being picked up on. They're working together, but there's an uneasiness, because she doesn't want him to know, obviously, what's really probably going on. And he's [like], 'What the f--- aren't you telling me?' So there's that rigid vibe, as well."

And though Dohring acknowledges that Kinney might be unconsciously aware that strange things regularly go down in New Orleans, "I don't think he's blind to it. He's reaching for it, trying to connect pieces and dots," he says. "Nobody wants to blow the lid, as far as getting the police force involved, that there's something going on. There's some hard efforts to ensure that doesn't happen."

Davina's (Danielle Campbell) new responsibility isn't working out the way she planned.

Davina is now a regent, and though she finally has the power she's long yearned for, the witches aren't treating her with the respect she thinks she deserves.

"For Davina, the biggest [issue] for her is this idea of what is this young girl -- older and wiser, beyond her years -- going to do with this new batch of responsibilities, with very grownup powers and grownup obligations in the witches' community?" says Plec. "She's very quickly going to learn that it's not all it's cracked up to be. She has to seek some advice from friends in equally powerful positions on how to get people to respect her."

As Davina struggles, Marcel is missing his former ally. "[Losing her] was a little bit of a setback," notes Davis. "You have Davina, who is now head of the regent, so he doesn't have that going for him -- he doesn't have his ace up his sleeve."

Can the first sired vampires be trusted?

With some of the Original family's past poised to return, Marcel will come face-to-face with the first people the Mikaelsons turned. "They predate him, so he's heard of them," says Davis. "There's some knowledge and some respect there. He's heard about them through the Originals, [but] the Originals haven't had contact with them in so long, they're not in Marcel's world. But of course, since he's tied so close to the Original family, he'll be pulled into it in the present day."

When push comes to shove, Marcel will get more physical in protecting his ground. "I get to employ a little more athleticism into the role," explains Davis. "That helps to set the character apart, too. ... More hands-on, fighting for his space. Especially when you have the [sired] vampires who are coming back. They're not pacifists; they like to fight. And they have an entourage with them. So there's a lot of fighting between external forces. Not so much fighting with the Originals -- that's a fight we've seen him lose before. So it's a little more equal ground."

But Marcel's connection with the newbies won't be entirely antagonistic: Davis teases that Marcel connects with "one [new character] more than the others."

These changes come at a time when Marcel's relationship with the Original family isn't in the best place. "Obviously Rebekah is still not as around as much," Davis points out. "Then, between Marcel and Elijah, it's always been like a big brother-little brother kind of thing. And then with Klaus, Klaus has been at odds with everybody. So he's just at a distance; he's more forgiving than everyone."

On the bright side for Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Marcel being merely "at a distance" with his old friend is a vast improvement over Klaus' relationship with his biological siblings. "It's not as personal," explains Davis. "Klaus and Marcel have made their peace with Marcel bringing Klaus' father back to town [last year] and they had that out. It's not that much underneath. Because he's sired to him, there's not much he can do, so he has to swallow it up."

Will romance be blooming this season?

CW shows rarely shy away from great romances (and triangles), but Davis was hesitant about whether that would be in the cards for his character this season.

"With the threat coming in, it's more about protecting [his city]," says Davis. "If there's any romance, it's more of a dalliance, a tryst. I don't know if it would be anything as long-standing as Marcel and Rebekah. But it's The CW, it's The Originals, there will be a lot of love interests. ... There's a little bit of romance."

Dohring was equally unsure about whether sparks would fly between Will and Cami. "There's a mutual respect, which I would say is almost more than a romance in a way," he says. "It's really cool to see how sharp someone is and how intense you are, and you respect that. There's that kind of attraction. I don't know if there's any more [to it] yet."

And if that doesn't work out, Dohring jokingly offers up another possible coupling: "Me and Joseph!"

The Originals returns Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.