Marshal Knight: So, this is the third book in the series, Rise of the Isle of the Lost, and this will be the second movie in July. I was curious to know that we’ve had some time with the movie franchise and the book series if you guys have taken stuff from each other’s work. Like, if you’ve seen the movies and saw something that [Dove] added to Mal that was like, “Ooo, I can add that to the book,” and vice versa.
Melissa De La Cruz: Oh yeah, no it’s a whole communal thing. There’s not like there’s movies and there’s books, it’s all together. The characters in my mind have [Dove’s] face and Sofia’s face-
Dove Cameron: And you wrote the books after we were all cast, right?
MDLC: Yeah, exactly.
MK: Oh, that’s nice.
MDLC: It was a project that everyone was part of, so it wasn’t like I was over here writing and they were over there. We would communicate and I would see all the drafts of the script and then they would show me the production things, so we really wanted to tie it in together.
DC: I think it’s a weird misconception that the movies are based on the books or the books are based on the movies, actually neither is based on the other.
MK: It’s all combined.
MDLC: Yeah, they’re all combined. It’s interesting because it’s multi-platform. They always wanted it multi-platform. There are always a bunch of creators.
MK: That’s awesome. So when [Dove] got the realization that you would be playing Maleficent’s daughter and [Melissa] would be writing these, how nervous were you to stray from what we know from the classics? Did you feel like there was a worry “I’m not going to be enough like Maleficent”? And even though it’s Maleficent’s daughter, did you [Dove] feel like you needed to pull from the Angelina Jolie movie more than the original or anything like that? And since you [Melissa] had all the characters to deal with?
MDLC: My concern was really to tie-in to the original movies. I wanted it to make sense, you know? And then I watched all the original movies and all the villains died! So I was like, “Why are they on this island then?!” So, I really needed to figure out what’s worse than death…the Isle of the Lost.
DC: For me, I was informed very early on (which, this is just most nerve-wracking), but I was informed by the head of Disney Channel, Gary Marsh, that the reason this project has taken so long was because Disney Corporate had to approve of somebody officially embellishing on the original stories, because that is what we’re doing. Anything else, like Once Upon a Time, hasn’t actually been an official embellishment on the story-
MK: It hasn’t been canon or anything.
MDLC: Right, whereas we’re canon.
DC: We. Are. Canon. And that’s why it took so long, because apparently, Disney corporate was like “That’s a terrible idea, we don’t want to mess with the original stuff.” And so [Gary] told me that. He was like, “This is the first time that this is ever going to happen.” I mean, it made me a little bit nervous, but more than anything else, but I was just like “That’s the deepest honor.”
MK & MDLC: Oh, absolutely.
DC: Because Disney Channel is it’s own thing, it’s own beast, so to be told you’re involved in the classics is like, there’s nothing more delicious than that. I think that’s why we’re all so invested in the series and the franchise itself because it’s the first time! It’s the deepest honor, so for me, it was less nerve-wracking and the most delicious opportunity and I actually avoided seeing the Angelina Jolie film.
MK: That’s good, ’cause it makes you feel obligated to go that route since it’s so recent.
DC: Yeah, and it came out while we were shooting the first one, so Kristin and I were like “Promise, we’re not gonna do it,” ya know?
MK: Sorry, Angie!
DC: *laughs* Yeah, sorry Angie, you’ll have to wait.