True Blood creator talks musical version and more during 10th anniversary pilot screening


At a 10th anniversary screening of the pilot episode of the vampire series True Blood, creator Alan Ball gave details on a possible musical version and reminisced about the show.

Speaking at the Vulture Festival on Sunday in Los Angeles, Ball said he’d heard the True Blood musical, from composer Nathan Barr, is “pretty good.” Ball revealed that the show is currently being workshopped but didn’t say what, if any, involvement he’ll have with the project.

However, he did share some details on the musical’s plot:

"It tells the story of vampires coming out of the closet. Ultimately it really departs from the book, because people aren’t ready, and they’re too bigoted and they end up going back in to the closet."

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During the panel Ball also talked about True Blood casting decisions including the fact that big names like Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, and Jennifer Lawrence were in the running for roles on the show.

Benedict Cumberbatch read for vampire protagonist Bill, the role played by Stephen Moyer, and Jessica Chastain read for the lead role of Sookie Stackhouse, Anna Paquin’s character. In addition, Jennifer Lawrence was almost cast as a were-panther in season 3. According to Ball:

"She was great, but all the women in the room, because she was going to be Jason’s girlfriend, and she was 17 at the time, were like, “No that’s gross.”"

Ball also spoke about his issue with people dismissing Rutina Wesley’s character, Tara Thornton, as an angry black woman. He explained,

"Whenever people say, “Why are black women angry?” I say, “Well because they’re women, and they’re black, and this is a totally misogynist and racist country, and why wouldn’t you be angry?”"

Ball also revealed Wesley’s part was originally cast with another actress. However, after the pilot was shot the role was recast with Wesley at HBO’s suggestion.

Ball also paid tribute to Nelsan Ellis, who played fan-favorite character Lafayette Reynolds and passed away last year at the age of 39. During the screening of the pilot, when Lafayette appeared for the first time, Ball told the audience, “That breaks my heart. He was so amazingly talented.”

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He also revealed that Ellis improvised most of his first scene on the show. While that wasn’t typical for True Blood, Ball was so impressed with Ellis’ ad-libbing that he let him go for it.

Would you watch a True Blood musical? Sing the idea’s praises (or not) in the comments.

(Source: Deadline)