‘The Vampire Diaries’: Julie Plec on the Final Season, Crossovers, and a June Wedding

The Vampire Diaries Season 8 at Comic Con
‘The Vampire Diaries’ cast and Julie Plec at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con (Photo © Richard Chavez)

During the 2016 San Diego Comic Con The CW confirmed the eighth season of The Vampire Diaries would be the series’ final season. Knowing in advance the show’s heading into its final season gives The Vampire Diaries‘ co-creator and executive producer Julie Plec time to finish up storylines and maybe even bring back Nina Dobrev’s character, Elena Gilbert. During our interview at Comic Con, Plec said she’s hoping Dobrev returns to The Vampire Diaries. Plec also said we can expect little season one treats for fans who’ve faithfully watched the series for its eight season run.

Julie Plec Interview:

Can you point to anything from season one that we might see brought back for season eight?

Julie Plec: “We are just in the early stages of writing the scripts but every day in the room we talk about different ways we can celebrate the first season. There’s a pitch on the table now about the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant and the Decade Dance and Founder’s Day, going back to the idea of the root of the founding families even so much as seeing the history of season one played out from a different perspective. There’s all kinds of different tricks and tools and fun things we’re trying to do so we’ll see if we actually do them. But, that’s definitely our intention.”

Will there be any crossovers?

Julie Plec: “There’s no crossovers specifically because the timelines don’t match up this year. But I was just saying to somebody else that that doesn’t mean that before we run end titles on the last image of the finale that we won’t pay some sort of homage to what’s happening in The Originals and conversely The Originals my hope, knock on wood, will continue to live on as can any of these characters with it.”

Do you think there will be any other spin-offs?

Julie Plec: “I have thought about it. I would say it’s not out of the question. I don’t have it right now. I have nuggets of ideas of, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be fun if we could do this?’ Or, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to try that?’ Nothing that’s even cemented enough to say I’ve got something in the works, you know? But I do think that when you stumble upon a world that makes so many people happy – and in this case the world of Mystic Falls – then you should always keep your mind open to exploring it in other ways.”

What about the possibility of the return of Elena?

Julie Plec: “Do you realize that I’ve been in here for 35 minutes and you are the first person to ask me about that. I’ve had nine questions about the June wedding and not a single person has asked me about Elena so I’m waiting. Look, all I can say because there is nothing written in stone but Nina made me a promise when she left that she would come back and be a part of the goodbye, and I intend on holding her to that. And I’m sure she intends on living up to it as well so we just have to figure it out – the how, the when, the what – but it would be a real tragedy if we couldn’t bring that story back around full circle.”

And about the June wedding?

Julie Plec: “I will say nothing other than what I’ve said nine times to the entire rest of the room that we are well aware that that line exists in the pilot. That was Caroline’s intention from minute one, so it’s the final season so we don’t like to leave a lot of things hanging. So, we’ll see.”

Is it harder for you to have a shorter season?

Julie Plec: “No, it’s so good. We’re doing 16 episodes. For seven years we’ve been complaining…we are very grateful for our jobs, we love our jobs, but 22 episodes a year for seven years is so hard. It’s hard to maintain a level of quality. It’s hard to maintain a level of sanity. And to be able to do a 16 episode season is the greatest gift that we could be given. And then to be able to do it knowing you’re approaching an end date for the entire series means every minute count, every episode counts. There’s no fluff episodes; there’s no stall. Every episode is going to matter.”

Since you’ve been with the cast for so long is it almost like leaving a family?

Julie Plec: “Yes. So I’m the girl who when it came time to graduate high school my parents were moving out of town so I knew in my heart I would never see most of those people again. I was crying in the corner at every graduation party. You know, like a beer in my hand, just sobbing. I get very nostalgic about this stuff, very emotional, and I love these guys so much. The good news is we all work in the same business. We’ll have opportunities to work together again. I was so sad about Containment ending and I’ve already hired half the cast across the two shows, so there’s definitely going to be opportunities. But, it’s going to be tough emotionally. It’s like growing up with the same group of people and then finally saying goodbye. I’m looking forward to it because it’s beautiful but it hurts.”

Is there a possibility that after it ends we might still see a Vampire Diaries character show up on The Originals?

Julie Plec: “I would love that. I’m using that to hold the network hostage and say, ‘Listen, keep The Originals on the air and I swear at some point we’ll try to find a way to work everybody through those doors because why not? It’s a great world. Vampires are not done – people still like vampires and there’s no other vampires on television that I want to see. I’d love to keep it going.”

What can you say about new cast members this season?

Julie Plec: “Speaking of the Containment cast, I’ve put Kristen Gutoskie into the role of Celine, the new nanny. From a teacher role to a nanny role. Someone that Caroline’s trying to figure out why Alaric hired the hot nanny instead of the old nanny. We’ve got Demetrius Bridges who was Xander on Containment who’s going to be playing the role of Dorian who’s one of Alaric’s interns. We’ve just cast Nathalie Kelley in a role, this great Australian actress, in the role of Sybil which the breakdown’s been floating out there for quite some time. And then there’s many more to come.”

Will Kevin Williamson be coming back?

Julie Plec: “Kevin is launching his new show Time After Time and so what he’s promised to do is be in this as much as he can be. He helped me write the premiere. He’s absolutely going to write the finale with me, and then anything else he can do along the way. He’s been reading the stories and reading the scripts and chiming in, so it’s been nice to have him back.”