Vampires have more or less run their course on American television, but don’t tell that to the author who was first to make vampires popular again.
Anne Rice, the author of The Vampire Chronicles books that led to 1994’s Interview With the Vampire, says she has now acquired the film and television rights to her popular series and plans to develop a television pilot with her son, author Christopher Rice.
The 75-year-old shared the news over the weekend on her Facebook page.
“The theatrical rights to the Vampire Chronicles are once again in my hands, free and clear. I could not be more excited about this.
“A television series of the highest quality is now my dream for Lestat, Louis, Armand, Marius and the entire tribe.
“This is the new Golden Age of television, such a series is the way to let the entire stories of the vampires unfold.”
Rice says she and her son will develop a series that not only “faithfully” presents Lestat’s story, but the author hopes to become the next George R.R. Martin by making her vampires the next Game of Thrones.
The rights to the books had belong to Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment, which they acquired in 2014. The two production companies immediately attached Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman – known for their work in the Star Trek reboot films – to try and jumpstart a film franchise.
Orci and Kurtzman parted ways last year, however, and the project went into limbo. However, director Josh Boone – already attached to X-Men: The New Mutants from Twentieth Century Fox – announced through social media he had crafted a script with Jill Killington called, just like the 1994 film, Interview With the Vampire. The project, Boone had said, would cover the book of the same name as well as its sequel, The Vampire Lestat.
It seems, however, Universal and Imagine couldn’t move the project forward toward a green light, and in the process, the rights to the novels reverted back to Rice. With it, Rice says it’s “abundantly clear” that her books should not be adapted for the silver screen again, but instead for television.
“Over the years, you all have told me how much you want to see a Game of Thrones-style faithful rendering of this material, and how much you want for the series to remain in my control. Well, I have heard you. I have always heard you. What you want is what I want.”
Rice wrote the screenplay for the 1994 film, but would later clash with producers and director Neil Jordan (who rewrote a good portion of the screenplay uncredited) over the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat. After seeing Cruise’s performance, Rice changed her position, and later called the film a “masterpiece.”
The film would go on to earn $223.6 million globally, or $362.7 million today. Those numbers would be good enough to rank it No. 17, according to The Numbers, ahead of The Angry Birds Movie and behind Independence Day: Resurgence.
The world, however, has changed a lot since 1994. Television and film has been saturated with vampire tales, with everything from The Vampire Diaries on The CW and True Blood on HBO, to the Twilight series in theaters. While most of the vampire projects are slowly fading away – The Vampire Diaries end this season, for example, and True Blood said good-bye in 2014 – that’s more because of waning fan interest, then simply making room for the woman who made vampires cool again.
Any series would need to include both Rice and her son Christopher as executive producers, the author said. The younger Rice is openly gay, and his novels typically center around gay young men. That could suggest the homosexual subtext of the Vampire Chronicles books between Lestat and vampire Louis could return for a series.
In the meantime, Anne Rice is just starting to promote her latest book in the series, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis.
“I am filled with optimism this morning about the future for my beloved Brat Prince. What better way to start a tour for the new book.”
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