A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a visit to the set of Richard LaGravenese’s forthcoming supernatural-romance, Beautiful Creatures. Now, while the title might not mean much to you if you’re say, a late-20’s male with little to no involvement with the Young Adult section of your local Barnes and Nobel, that name means a whole bunch to a whole bunch of non-late-20’s males: Beautiful Creatures—which involves teenage girls, witches, stately manors on the edge of swamps, and Jeremy Irons—might just be the heir to the Twilight throne.
And with the potential for another franchise like that on their hands, it’s easy to understand why the studio would agree to let us start talking about our set visit now: sure, it doesn’t arrive until February of 2013, but why not tell you a little bit about the cool stuff we saw on-set? Find out what I saw there, who we interviewed, and see some pictures from Beautiful Creatures after the jump, folks.
Before I start bringing you up to speed on Warner Bros. and Richard LaGravenese’s Beautiful Creatures, it’s important that we make the following very, very clear: this is not our full set-visit report. Typically, set visits (and the interviews that occur there) don’t start popping up until the week or two before a film hits theaters. In this case, however, WB has given us the go-ahead to write a quick little preview about that visit. Once we get closer to the film’s February, 2013 release date, they’ll lift the embargo and we’ll be able to share everything we saw (and the handful of interviews we scored). Until then, there’s this.
For the uninitiated, Beautiful Creatures is the first novel (published in 2009) in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Caster Chronicles young-adult series, and—to someone like me, who doesn’t read a lot of supernatural-romance YA novels—the series sounds like it was always destined to be given the Hollywood treatment: in Gatlin, South Carolina, 16-year-old sophomore Ethan (here played by Alden Ehrenreich, a relative newcomer who cut his teeth in Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt and Tetro) discovers a mysterious new girl at school, Lena (played by Alice Englert). Ethan is drawn into a mystery involving Lena’s life as a witch (or “Caster”), the town of Gatlin itself, and Lena’s even-more-mysterious Uncle, Macon (played by Jeremy Irons, who needs no introduction).
While on-set, we watched LaGravenese film an elaborate outdoor party scene, one that involved what appeared to be dozens and dozens of extras dressed in jaw-droppingly intricate costumes (and some truly impressive makeup). We took a walk around the outside of a massive, sprawling house in the middle of nowhere (this was outside Baton Rouge, and the place looked exactly like you’d expect “a massive, sprawling house in the middle of nowhere outside of Baton Rouge” to look like: hanging vines, heavy gothic architecture, lots of wrought-iron and deep shadows) that turned out to be Macon’s house, and we were given time to interview a number of cast members, including Ehrenreich, Englert, Emmy Rossum, and Margo Martindale, all of whom were clearly very excited about bringing this massively popular YA series to life.
The Beautiful Creatures set was enormously impressive, and though I walked onto the set knowing next-to-nothing about the series that inspired it, I left curious to learn more. This is just about all I’m able to share at the moment, but you can rest assured that we’ll have much, much more coverage for you on our Beautiful Creatures set visit when we get closer to the film’s February 2013 release date, including a report from the set and all those aforementioned interviews. While you’re waiting on that day to arrive, check out some of these pictures from the Beautiful Creatures Facebook page, and feel free to sound off in the comments section below if you’ve got anything you’d like to add: read the books? Excited for the movie? Think Beautiful Creatures has what it takes to take up the Twilight mantle? Tell us about it below, folks, and stay tuned!