Justin Cronin on the Vampire-Like Creatures of the The Passage and The Twelve

In The Passage, the futuristic dystopia created by Justin Cronin, a rampaging horde of vampire-like creatures called “virals” create mayhem for the world, wiping out civilization as we know it.

Much of the early portion of The Twelve, Cronin’s highly anticipated second installment of the expected three-part trilogy, recounts “Year Zero,” when the vicious, limb-tearing vampires decimated the continent.

But while vampires may, for some, seem a tad over-exposed in today’s fictional landscape, Cronin’s post-acopalyptic novels have broken through, generating huge buzz among adult readers. The series counts as one of its fans no less than horror master Stephen King himself, who declared, in an infamous surprise call to Good Morning America during a Cronin appearance for the The Passage, “you put the scare back in vampires, buddy.”

The evocative character portraits and dark apocalyptic adventure of The Passage books are primary draws, but the vicious virals offer an interesting advance on the vampire story while putting a new spin on some of the classic literary tropes of vampire lore. In this interview with Cronin, he explains how he blended vampire myth with scientific reality and natural occurrences to create his own unique variation of the blood-seeking, sunlight-averse monsters.

“I like things that are grounded in a plausible explanation. And of course science is our magic now. Just in my lifetime, science has provided me with enough awe-inspiring moments to be the magic that I wanted to use in this story. So I decided I would go to vampire lore, but one of the presuppositions of the story would be that vampire lore itself was actually based on a natural occurrence, something that was driven by a scientific reality.”

Cronin sold the movie rights to The Passage three years before the first book even released. The film was originally to be directed by Ridley Scott, but the project was recently turned over to Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) and Screenwriter Jason Keller are on board for the adaptation. , but with a script by John Logan,The third book in the trilogy, reportedly titled The City of Mirrors is slated for release in 2014.


 

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