There is a great deal of activity in the All Souls Trilogy universe these days. Author Deborah Harkness is currently writing the final installment; the paperback edition of Shadow of Night was released on May 28; and the screenplay for A Discovery of Witches is complete and in development at Warner Bros.
The busiest of all may be a group of the book’s dedicated fans who call themselves “the Daemons” (a nod to the artistic, creative subset of creatures in the series). They have created a multi-platform social media campaign Armitage4Clairmont, dedicated to getting Richard Armitage cast as Matthew Clairmont, a 1500 year old vampire and lead character in the series.
What started as casual musing in the All Souls Trilogy discussion group has turned into a social media campaign by four Daemons and their dedicated “intelligencers,” none of whom has had professional marketing or design experience. It all began last spring when a member suggested Mr. Armitage to portray Matthew Clairmont along with a photo from the BBC mini-series North & South. This single thread in the AST discussion group morphed into a full-blown campaign coinciding with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. In The Hobbit Mr. Armitage portrays the dwarves leader, Thorin Oakenshield.
“For us there is no other actor to portray Matthew Clairmont.” chuckled one Daemon, “The book series is our first love in this endeavor. Since we had discussed and dissected the books, it was a natural progression to go from the description of Matthew Clairmont to Mr. Armitage. A large percentage of us had never heard of the actor prior to this, which led to research and debate. When The Hobbit hit theaters, we knew we needed to get moving before he got snatched up for other projects. We are very happy that the campaign is gaining traction but, we are far from done.”
The campaign launched a Facebook page, website and a Twitter campaign in December. It has grown to include a channel on YouTube with the original video series The Many Faces of Matthew Clairmont. “We want to forge a link between visuals of the actor and the words of Deborah Harkness to show that he’s the choice for the character.” The most recent installment of the video series, “The Poet” debuted last month with more videos in the works.
What really got the Armitage fandom speculating was a recent interview Mr. Armitage gave Alice Tynan of The Vine:
“Now you’re going from battling flying dragons to twisters in Black Sky, so what can we see you in next?
After Black Sky? Oh I wish I could tell you. Every script that I’ve read has got a book attached, and I think I’ve read five books.
So I just need to steal your Kindle, is what you’re saying?
[Laughs] You just need to steal my Kindle. There are some big scale projects, and then one incredibly charming book that I love so much. But I don’t have anything confirmed, so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.”
The interview also kicked the Armitage4Clairmont campaign into hyper-drive. The AST discussion group had previously given Mr. Armitage both volumes of the series, which he warmly acknowledged. That, coupled with Mr. Armitage’s mention of history, romance and a previous role involving genetics, prompted the Daemons to kick off “WB Wednesdays” – a focused effort to make the will of the All Souls community known. Led by a Thorin Oakenshield action figure – the Daemons are getting the message to Warner Bros. via Twitter #RA4MC, Facebook and old-fashioned email. “It’s our hope that we get our message through to Warner Bros. before they are wholeheartedly sick of us!”
With Mr. Armitage dropping hints about his next project all over the media and a pack of Daemons with mad schemes and magic up their sleeves, who knows what will happen in the coming days? Stay tuned and find out.