Jacob Batalon of Spider-Man fame is set to star in Syfy’s new series Reginald the Vampire – this time, as the protagonist, Reginald, a character whose entire arc is based around being an outcast who isn’t seen as conventionally pretty, even as a member of the undead.
Batalon is best known as Ned Leeds in the Tom Holland era of Spider-Man movies, beginning with Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017, followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and concluding with Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). Batalon’s Ned Leeds is arguably the picturesque superhero sidekick; the hero’s loyal best friend, wingman, and tech geek – and, admittedly, not as handsome as the hero, who always gets the girl instead.
“Reginald the Vampire” and new opportunities
In the ten-part series Reginald the Vampire, based on the Fat Vampire books by Johnny B. Truant, however, Batalon is promoted from sidekick to protagonist as Reginald, who Hollywood Reporter describes as “an ordinary guy with a lousy job, romantic problems and low self-esteem” who accidentally gets turned into a vampire. Reginald, however, is still an outcast even as a vampire since he isn’t as “pretty” as the other vampires. Batalon says this only makes him want the role more.
“The experience of being a ‘not pretty’ person…gave me such an incentive,” he told Deadline. “What we wanted to do is turn vampire tropes on their head and not take ourselves too seriously.”
Given that Jacob Batalon will be an executive producer of Reginald the Vampire along with being an actor, he also spoke on the topic of the growing presence of diversity in writer’s rooms. He has confirmed that the show will boast a cast and crew which includes LGBTQ+ people and people of color; he has said this is a part of the new “narrative of diversity” in the entertainment industry. Mandela Van Peebles (Mayor of Kingstown) and Em Haine (Deadpool) are also slated to appear on the show, which is meant to debut this summer on Syfy.