×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Carmilla’ Lesbian Vampire YouTube Series to Become Feature-Length Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

Carmilla,” a scripted comedy and lesbian love story adapted from the 19th-century cult-classic gothic vampire novella — which has run as a YouTube series for two years — will be turned into a feature-length film starring members of the original cast.

Sponsored by Kimberly-Clark’s U by Kotex feminine-hygiene brand, the “Carmilla” series has generated more than 50 million views and has 250,000-plus followers on social media since first launching in August 2014. About 82% of those fans — who call themselves “Creampuffs” after a  line in the show — are female, and nearly two-thirds are aged 18-24.

Now the producers are looking to expand the franchise with the movie, slated to be released in the fall of 2017. The series and film come from Toronto-based Shaftesbury’s Smokebomb Entertainment digital studio and its shift2 branded-entertainment agency.

“The demand for ‘Carmilla’ has been off the charts so we wanted to super-serve the fans by exploring the story further through other formats and platforms,” said Jay Bennett, senior VP of creative and innovation at Smokebomb. “It’s not often that you have the opportunity to launch a film with the kind of built-in fan base that ‘Carmilla’ has.”

The film will include many of the original cast from the digital series, including Elise Bauman (who plays Laura) and Natasha Negovanlis (as Carmilla). Alex Acoba has signed on to write the script with series co-creator and writer Jordan Hall, and the movie will be produced by Smokebomb’s Steph Ouaknine, who has overseen the series’ three seasons.

The “Carmilla” series, available on Smokebomb’s YouTube channel KindaTV, takes place at a fictional modern-day university. The story starts when college student Laura discovers that her original roommate has disappeared — replaced by the mysterious Carmilla, who turns out to be a vampire. The pair’s relationship evolves over time in a “complicated love story,” said Bennett, and the show’s storylines mix in elements of “Veronica Mars”-style investigations.

The movie will be set five years after events of the current season 3 of “Carmilla,” which debuted in mid-September. In the film, Laura and Carmilla will have a brand-new mystery to solve. “It’s about the band getting back together, and them going on a fun, cool, sexy Scooby-Doo adventure,” said Bennett.

Writing is under way on the film’s script, and Smokebomb is in early talks with distribution and potential co-production partners, according to Bennett. Kimberly-Clark, as the series’ sponsor, is “100% interested in the movie, but we need to finish season 3 before we proceed” in terms of the company providing funding for the film, he said.

Fans can place pre-orders for the “Carmilla” movie through Vimeo’s VHX service (at carmillamovie.vhx.tv). It will cost $9.99 for the feature, a signed digital copy of the script and a making-of featurette; $14.99 for the feature and extras including a blooper reel and cast commentary; and $20.99 for a bundle that includes all the extra content plus season 3 of the digital series with additional outtakes plus behind-the-scenes footage. “In our commitment to the fans, with their support buying the feature, we’ll be able to put more on the screen,” Bennett said.

When Bennett and shift2 CEO Kaaren Whitney-Vernon first approached Kimberly-Clark about sponsoring the series, “we were intrigued, but never dreamed it would turn into such a fan phenomenon,” said director of marketing Leslie Mackay. “We are so delighted to see the team take this property to the next level and engage this incredibly supportive and enthusiastic audience with an even more in-depth iteration of the story.”

Smokebomb is developing other extensions to the “Carmilla” franchise, including a live stage show and a TV series. There’s already a “Carmilla” jewelry line in market through Jewlr.com.

In addition to the series’ availability on YouTube, Fullscreen has licensed the first two seasons of “Carmilla” and other Smokebomb productions, included as part of the Fullscreen subscription VOD service.

 

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content