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‘Academy’ bites bigscreen

Murphy, Preger team on feature version of Mead saga

“Transformers” producer Don Murphy is looking for the undead, teaming with Michael Preger (“Village of the Damned”) on a feature version of Richelle Mead’s six-part saga “Vampire Academy.”

“Academy,” set at St. Vladimir’s Academy in the Montana forests, centers on Rose Hathaway, a 17-year-old female “dhampir” — a half human/half vampire and a guardian of the Moroi race of peaceful mortal vampires. She must deal with the intricacies of the Moroi social order and the Strigoi, a race of bloodthirsty immortal vampires and predators of the Moroi.

“Academy” debuted on the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2007 and has been published in 34 countries. The sixth and final installment of the series is scheduled for release in December.

Murphy, whose credits also include “Natural Born Killers” and “Apt Pupil,” asserts that a “Vampire Academy” pic will have mass appeal.

“The joy of these books is that in the wake of ‘Twilight’ they offer a chance to create a movie franchise that guys will want to see as well as girls,” he said. “Michael and I plan on positioning the films as something both sexes will enjoy together, expanding the genre of sexy young vampires to a whole new audience. We are beginning discussions with studios immediately.”

Preger’s credits include the 2009 BBC1 miniseries “Day of the Triffids.”

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