Vampire Academy boss shares tragic update on queer show’s future: ‘I don’t see any avenue forward’

LGBTQ+ characters Victor and Mia in Vampire Academy. (Peacock)

Vampire Academy co-showrunner Marguerite MacIntyre has officially confirmed the news that the series has no future, leaving fans devastated.

The LGBTQ+ community is all too familiar with the haunting death cry of an LGBTQ-inclusive TV show being axed. Whether you were an avid fan of Netflix’s Warrior Nun, a loyal viewer of Disney+’s Willow or hoping for endless seasons of Amazon Prime’s A League of Their Own, in recent months, queer content – particularly those focusing on LGBTQ+ women – has been the victim of a constant cycle of cancellations.

After just one season, Peacock’s Vampire Academy is simply the latest title in the trend.

Despite rave reviews, the streaming service announced in January that they had pulled the plug, leading to showrunners Julie Plec and MacIntyre promising they would try to find a new home for the show.

After a painstaking four-month wait, MacIntyre revealed on Wednesday (3 May) that no one wanted to pick up the series. In a heartfelt social media post, she said that despite “pitching their hearts out”, there was no hope of salvaging the fantasy/horror show.

The series, based on the popular young-adult urban fantasy book series by Richelle Mead, follows St Vladimir’s Academy students Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer) and her best friend Lissa Dragomir (Daniela Nieves) as they become entangled in epic vampiric battles and forbidden romances.

You may like to watch

It quickly became a must-watch LGBTQ+ drama after it first aired in September 2022, due to the inclusion of a budding sapphic romance between students Mia (Mia McKenna-Bruce) and Meredith (Rhian Blundell) as well as royal power couple and gay legends Victor Dashkov (Angel‘s J August Richards) and Robert Karp (Cornelius Macarthy).

Meredith and Mia share a kiss in the newly cancelled series, Vampire Academy. (Peacock)
Meredith and Mia share a kiss in Vampire Academy. (Peacock)

“I have been wanting to say this for a very long time,” MacIntyre began in her video. “Again, thank you for all your love for the show. Thanks for the incredible support. Thanks for sticking with us through a lot of thin lately.”

She continued: “I don’t have good news. I don’t see any avenue forward. I feel like now is the time to say I’m sorry about that, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. We went a little silent because there wasn’t a lot we could say. We pitched our hearts out, and we tried, and we took it as far as we could.”

However, she remained hopeful that there could be a revival of the series in the future in some shape or form, telling fans: “It’s a beautiful show, these are beautiful books, these are beautiful characters. They’ll come back in the world.”

And she thanked fans for their feedback, especially those who loved the original book series, saying it was their love that made it a hit.

“We cared more than anything that the book fans love what we did, and you guys did, and it meant the world. We thank you. You made it a hit for us. Whatever else happened, it was a hit because you loved it and supported it,” she concluded.

What did the cast say about the LGBTQ+ representation?

In September, McKenna-Bruce and Blundell spoke to PinkNews about the swathe of queer TV cancellations, including Netflix’s sapphic vampire drama, First Kill, and why LGBTQ+ representation on screen was more important than ever.

“Where progress has been made, unfortunately we are also seeing regression,” Blundell said. “There are still people pushing – there are still people in this industry who care incredibly deeply about this community. We’re part of this community… and I think it’s not necessarily that it’s a fight, but the job isn’t done. We’re still doing it, we’re still pushing for it.”

McKenna-Bruce echoed those thoughts, saying: “There is that fight, and we’ve got a way to go. I have luckily been working in this industry for pushing 15 years now and this is the first time I’ve gotten to play a queer character. So these stories are starting to be told more.”

She continued: “I just wish that I was able to watch this when I was younger. [The] relationship isn’t about them being queer, it’s about two people [who] just meet and have this connection and fall in love and that’s all there is to it.”

In the lead up to the show airing, in an interview with Gaye magazine, Richards also reflected on why having a powerful queer Black character on screen is so important.

“With this character, I got to explore what it means to be a strong, Black, gay leading man, and I got to look damn good while doing it,” he said, referring to the immaculate outfits he got to wear, such as his signature plum-dyed, furry-necked coat.

After news of the cancellation at the beginning of this year, he optimistically addressed fans on his Instagram, saying: “It was a great, fun opportunity. So I wanted to say thank you to everybody for tuning in… yeah it’s a bummer, the money, the exposure, the living in Spain, all of those great things are not going to be a part of my experience any more but I genuinely am excited to see what happens next.”

How have fans reacted to the cancellation?

W will now never get to see any of the characters’ potential fully realised on screen, and fans across social media are mourning the loss.

“The official end of Vampire Academy is the worst day of my life, I will never forgive [Peacock] for not treating VA the way it deserved to be treated,” one fan wrote.

Another agreed: “My heart is f**king shattered. Vampire Academy deserved the f**king world.”

A third added: “The devastation we feel from this is unreal and shows just how loved the story line and cast are.”

Others tried to remain hopeful. “A sad day for the Vampire Academy family,” one Twitter user reflected. “I’m so glad we did get the season we did and I’m sure the rest of the story would have been wonderful. Thank you, Marguerite and Julie for bringing them to life. Hopefully, one day we will be able to see the rest of the story.”

Vampire Academy is available to stream on Peacock and Now TV.