By Erin McCarthy at Popular Mechanics: How to Stop a Daybreakers-Style Vampire Epidemic
In Daybreakers, a bat bites a man and infects him with a disease that turns him into a bloodsucker. Within 10 years, only 5 percent of the human population is left. The remaining 95 percent of the people on earth now take their coffee with a healthy dose of human blood.

At least that’s what we think happened—Daybreakers, out Jan. 8, never explicitly states how the disease spread, saying only that “it started with a single bat.” Directors (and twins) Peter and Michael Spierig aren’t being specific, either. “I don’t want to get into it too much, because the whole story of what happened before might actually become a graphic novel,” Michael says. “It starts during a war, and it spreads through infection of war wounds and grew through soldiers returning home. That’s kind of how it evolved.”

Could real-life scientists stop a Daybreakers-style global outbreak without resorting to wooden stakes? “In this scenario, if you’re bitten, there’s close to 100 percent probability of becoming infected,” says Christopher Crnich, an infectious disease expert and faculty at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “There aren’t any infections out there with that level of transmission efficiency.”

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by Jeffrey Sullivan at the Celebrity Cafe:

Willem Dafoe Weighs In on “Twilight” vs. “Daybreakers”
Just in case you haven’t heard, vampires are the new fad to hit the teen scene. “Daybreakers” is the newest movie to capitalize on that trend, and film star Willem Dafoe said recently on that “Daybreakers” actually predates the”Twilight” novels by about a year. Writer/directors for the movie, Michael and Peter Spierig, sold the script to Lionsgate in 2004, well before the first “Twilight” novel came out.

“Daybreakers” is a story in which vampires have completely taken over, spreading their bloodsucking nature to most of the world. But they have run into a major problem: they’re running out of humans and therefore their life source. If humans go extinct, then so do vampires.

“I thought the approach was really fresh,” he said in a recent MTV interview. “It’s such a well-established genre that usually people are doing takes on it. It’s very flexible, the vampire mythology, you can use it to serve lots of things. God knows it’s a great metaphor for talking abou everything from sex to romance to power to colonialism to, you name it.”

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“Priest,” with Paul Bettany, to Cast a New Light on Vampire Hunting
Set in the backdrop of a world ravaged by war between man and vampires, Paul Bettany plays a priest in an old western-type town. He turns against the church he is sworn to obey in order to save his niece from marauding vampires who captured her, and kills a lot of vampires in the process. There is going to be some great gory makeup in this movie.

He gets help from a young wasteland sheriff, who is also part vampire, adding to his conflicted emotions, in order to save his lost relative. Cam Gigandet, who played James in the “Twilight” series, has been confirmed as the young sheriff. Christopher Plummer, Karl Urban and Maggie Q are also joining the cast.

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By Maggie Galehouse at Chron: There’s an art to translating books into movies
The Lovely Bones arrives in movie theaters Friday. Fans of Alice Sebold’s book will see it in a new light: as part of an old Hollywood tradition that turns beloved books into major motion pictures.

It’s a tradition with mixed results.

“When we deal with adaptation movies, we always compare the movie to the book,” says Karen Fang, who teaches film studies and literature at the University of Houston. “But that’s not the way the film industry thinks about the issue. The industry is only interested in what’s going to make money.”

To studios, adaptations are presold commodities. “That’s the pitch,” Fang says. “A filmmaker says, ‘I want to make Lord of the Rings. It will be expensive, but there are millions of Tolkienites out there.’ ”

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By Martin A. Grove at ABC News: Hollywood No Longer an “Original Idea Town”

PhotobucketOne of the myths about moviemaking is that the movie gods prize originality and are wide open to writers with something new to pitch.

“It used to be an original idea town. It’s now all about underlying rights,” Craig Titley observed when he talked about his screenplay for 20th Century Fox’s “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” Percy, who learns he’s the son of Poseidon, discovers the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters are alive and well and walking among us. Titley, who has a Ph.D. in mythology, was able to put his academic training to good use here.

But the slowdown in selling originals doesn’t have him complaining. “I’ve always pretty much been a gun for hire doing assignments and adaptations so business is booming from where I’m sitting.”

Titley sees an original side to adapting: “I like adaptations where there’s a lot of room to wiggle and be creative and bring in new elements as opposed to something where you’ve got to treat the source material as sacred.”

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I’m a strong believer that if a book is good enough to warrant a movie, then it should be as close to the book as possible, not a jumping off point for the “creativity” of the screenwriter. And while some movie based on books can introduce people to reading (which I’m all for), it’s proof that Hollywood is officially out of ideas. It’s good to see so many “anti-Twilight” vampire movies. Not that I don’t love Twilight, but my first experience with vampires was predatory vampires-and I like them that way. So I’m looking forward to Daybreakers and and this new one.

What do you think of the surge of new vampire moves? Happy, or just sick of them, period? What do you think of all the book adaptations recently? Should Hollywood stop? Which book do you think should be adapted next?