"Otherworlders" from all over are forming an overwhelmingly large fanbase for Space's newly announced show Bitten, a TV adaptation of the first book in Canadian Author Kelley Armstrong's contemporary fantasy series Women of the Otherworld.
Released in 2001, Bitten started out as a solo, one-time-show book, but with the positive feedback it received, Armstrong added a second story to her supernatural world. And a third, and a fourth... And on it went from there, ending with the aptly named Thirteen, the 13th and final book in the Otherworld series. As the last pages of Thirteen were being turned, rumours of Bitten becoming a show had started. On August 23rd, 2012 Space announced that thirteen 60 minute episodes of the show had been ordered.
While fans sat tight for almost a year waiting for production to start, knowing it was scheduled for the spring of 2013, they would make casting predictions and fan art all over social networks like Tumblr, Deviant Art, Facebook and Twitter. In early March at Toronto ComiCon, it was announced that Canadian actress Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted) had been cast as Bitten's strong and independent protagonist Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf. Shortly after, additional casting updates were released for the show's male leads with Greg Bryk (A History Of Violence, Rookie Blue) as Pack Alpha Jeremy Danvers and Greyston Holt (Alcatraz, Durham County) as Clayton Danvers, Elena's ex-fiancé and Jeremy's second-in-command. Paul Greene (The Client List, Wicked Wicked Games) is to play Torontonian Philip McAdams, an ad exec and Elena's current beau. Yes, this is a show with werewolves, romance (a possible love triangle?) and action. When you put it that way, it sounds like something a bit similar to Twilight - but for those who aren't already a fan of the series, this summary should clear up any misunderstood similarities between the two:
A foster child, Elena thought she finally found her "happily ever after" with her new love Clayton, but with one small bite, her life was changed forever and she was forced to survive life with the Pack as a werewolf. Years later, Elena has found refuge in Toronto, working as a photographer and dating a new man. But when bodies turn up in the backwoods of Stonehaven, the rural mansion that has served as a werewolf sanctuary for generations, the perfect life Elena has constructed begins to crumble. With the Pack threatened by an unknown predator, they turn to Elena for help. Caught between two worlds and two loves, Elena returns to Stonehaven out of duty, but once back in the fold she realizes that when push comes to shove, like any true alpha female, she'll stop at nothing to defend her family.
Shooting began last month in studio and on location in Hespeler (Cambridge), Toronto and Hamilton Ontario, and is scheduled to finish sometime later on this summer, with a series premiere scheduled for January 2014. Fans aren't being told much in the early stages, other than the occasional twitter updates from the cast and crew. That all changed when Space released the first official photos from the set.
Since the release of casting news and official photos fans of the series have wasted no time in creating artwork in tribute to the show, some of them even catching the eye of the actors themselves! Although some fans are happy with the casting, most die-hard Otherworlders are a bit disappointed to see that Jeremy is not the sharp-featured, half Japanese Alpha described in the book. Greg Bryk attempts to put their minds at ease with a tweet stating:
Okay, so seeing set photos are one thing, but last Monday SPACE's flagship show InnerSPACE took it even further when they went on set to Stonehaven to interview the main cast and executive producer J.B. Sugar, to talk about the set of Stonehaven, the characters and the inevitable steamy sex scenes the show is bound to have. (Although, we did suspect they would stay true to the book's graphic and intimate moments when Greyston Holt changed his twitter picture a couple of weeks ago).
If you've missed out on seeing InnerSPACE's sneak peek, take a look below:
Yes, sadly our Clayton Danvers will not have his signature southern accent, or his piercing blue eyes and golden curls - but with the promise of many "Darlin's" and the abundance of "Nude sexy men", it might just make up for it. One thing fans noticed from the set photos right away, was that Greyston was wearing Clay's wedding ring, a small detail production could have overlooked easily, or dismissed. As Otherworlders know, this ring is much more important to the character development than plot development, but it's a great indication that the cast and crew will be staying as true to the books as they can.
As filming continues, fans patiently await any casting news for remaining werewolves Daniel Santos, Karl Marsten and Zachary Cain, assuming they will, in fact, be included in the TV adaptation - Although Greyston's tweet from early this morning certainly makes it sound promising that our trio of havoc-wreaking mutts will indeed be on our TV screens in January.
If you are as excited for Bitten as I am, keep checking back for new articles as there is bound to be more exciting news to come!