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Producer David Greenwalt on Moonlight

Published August 21, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of CBS.
Alex O'Loughlin Moonlight Alex O'Loughlin: Star of Moonlight
If we can’t get Joss Whedon to tell us more vampire stories on television, as least it’s some consolation to know that Angel producer David Greenwalt has a new series. Moonlight is about a vampire private detective in Los Angeles. Hey, where did he get that idea?

David Greenwalt on Moonlight

“The way this came down is my agent said in May, ‘You’ve got to read this Moonlight,’” recalled Greenwalt. “I read a couple of pages and discovered it was a vampire detective and I said, ‘Not only am I not going to read this, I’m going to sue them. This is my show.’ But he kept talking to me and eventually I did read and I did fall in love with it. It’s vampire 2007. It’s a new ball game. It’s certainly a genre show but just some tiny examples: there are no other demons, there are no other monsters. It’s not that supernatural of a world. It’s a sleek, modern world, Los Angeles. Literally the vampire makeup is different, the mythology is different and it’s a world where they really live among us. There’s not that many of them and the show has all my favorite things. It’s got deep heart and big love, and funny, which I’m attracted to.”

That, and a new set of vampire rules, does make Moonlight a very different beast. But 2007 isn’t that far away from Buffy and Angel’s time. “The other shows I did went way into the past and you’d find yourself in time immemorial and ancient curses and things. There was a good deal of brooding. This is more of an ironic take on what it means to be immortal which it’s sort of hinted that the only thing worse than being mortal might be to be immortal, particularly if an immortal loved a mortal. The whole look and feel of the show is different.”

With little footage other than a PR presentation available at this time, Greenwalt gave us a few specifics on Moonlight’s tone. “There is a really neat wry voiceover from Mick St. John played wonderfully by Alex [O’Loughlin]. We are being pushed to a level of maniacal excellence be young Mr. [Joel] Silver who cares deeply about everything including every line. The early work had humor as well but the show has kind of its own different sense of humor. For example, Jason Dohring is playing a 400-year-old vampire going on 30. A guy who embraces life, loves hedonism, loves drinking blood, just loves everything about life and is a multi-gazillionaire because he’s a hedge fund trader. So there is a certain kind of energy to the show. You won’t see people with funny masks.”

So that’s quite a different vampire show, eh? Maybe fans of the Buffyverse won’t even want to see this version. “Prior to Buffy and Angel, I’ve never done any genre stuff. Therefore I didn’t know the secret of the genre which is you can exaggerate the emotions and you can hit people over the head with a big wallop. One of the things I love about this show and really wanting to do it on CBS is a big emotional wallop on each show. There will be fun, there will be scare and then something that you just go, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t see that coming.’ Whether it’s star-crossed lovers or lost love, found love. I’m a big believer in the genre, what I would say used correctly, used to exaggerate the emotions, because people can surrender to genre and then in one part, saying that’s not quite 100 percent true and somehow it opens a door for them to let more stuff into their heart. And then I really like when people are in very dangerous, life-threatening situations that they are quipping because I’m amused by things like that.”

Moonlight premieres September 26 on CBS.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of CBS.

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