Anne Rice is planning to bring her Vampire Chronicles book series to the small screen.
When I was in my early teens I remember seeing the trailer for Interview With The Vampire and was captivated, even though I was too young to see it I wanted in. I’d watch a lot of Hammer Horror and Universal, the classic suave male vampire biting busty tavern maids. But this was different, this the first time we saw a gay vampire on-screen. This excited me.
I sat down and read the first 5 books in the Vampire Chronicles, and instantly fell in love with Lord De Lioncourt. The love and desperation he showed for Louis and David was what I wanted to read.
When I finally got to see the film Interview with the Vampire, it was the first time I had seen Vampires as proper characters. Tom Cruise’s Lestat was spellbinding, as well as Brad Pitt as Louis. I must have watched the film over a hundred times in that first year before continuing with the books. But I always wanted to see more. I’m not the best book-worm, I have to be in the right state of mind to sit down for an hour or so and get lost in a book.
The 2nd film Queen Of the Damned was a load of shit to be honest, but it was great to see Lestat on-screen again. Two years ago we had talk of Jared Leto becoming the new Lestat, tackling a whole new series of films bring the Vampire Chronicles to life. Think how the Marvel films have influenced cinema in the last 5 years, suddenly every saga, every series is planning a ten film epic run. But alas this was not meant to be.
“The theatrical rights to the Vampire Chronicles are once again in my hands, free and clear!,” the author announced Saturday in a lengthy post to her Facebook page. “A television series of the highest quality is now my dream for Lestat, Louis, Armand, Marius and the entire tribe.”
Universal and Imagine Entertainment had acquired the film rights to the book series, which centers on a 18th century French nobleman-turned-vampire. But Rice says she realized that her stories are better suited for TV.
“Though we had the pleasure of working with many fine people in connection with this plan, it did not work out,” she wrote of Universal and Imagines’ plans to option the series into several movies. “It is, more than ever, abundantly clear that television is where the vampires belong.”
She and son Christopher Rice, who will serve as executive producer of the planned series, will be developing a pilot script and detailed outline for an open-ended project “faithfully presenting Lestat’s story as it is told in the books.” She said they will likely begin with The Vampire Lestat, the second book of the series.
The author continued to the fans: “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 ended the message by saying she was filled with optimism about the future for “my beloved Brat Prince. What better way to start a tour for the new book!”
I think Anne Rice is on the right path now for finally fulfilling my dreams of seeing the epic tale on screen. Imagine it like Game Of Thrones, each season tackling a different book. Fleshing out the storylines over ten plus hours instead of a three hr film. I’m very much looking forward to this. All they need is a good network to put the right money in , and cast the perfect leading man.
This week Anne Rice took to Facebook to discuss the series. This is what we found out
1) NOTHING WILL BE WATERED DOWN
One of the words Rice repeated throughout the 30-minute Q&A was “integrity,” and it’s clear that she has absolutely no plans on letting her loyal readers down. She promised to provide “what the readers want to see; the characters they want to see and the situations they want to see them in,” and noted that she has rejected several scripts over the years because they failed to remain true to her source material. Furthermore, she has no plans on going to network TV with the series, which is in line with her commitment to integrity. “This is far too transgressive for network,” she said, revealing that she hopes to bring the series to a platform like Amazon, HBO, Starz, Showtime, or Netflix: “We want to be able to do these themes with complete freedom.”
2) SEASON 1 WILL COVER “THE VAMPIRE LESTAT”
Released in 1985, “The Vampire Lestat” was the second book in Rice’s series, and the plan is for the TV show to begin with that prequel book. Set in 18th century France, the story is told from the point of view of Lestat de Lioncourt, a young man desperate to break free from his life and become an actor in Paris. Of course, he ends up being turned into a vampire by Magnus.
“I want to begin right there and follow the adventures of Lestat through the Chronicles,” Rice said.
3) THERE WILL BE AN “INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE” SEASON
If you love the “Interview with the Vampire” story, have no fear, because Rice definitely intends on telling it on the small screen. She says that depending on how many episodes end up being in each season, that story will be told in either Season 2 or Season 3. At the moment, it’s a bit too early to tell exactly how the project is going to come together, as it’s still being developed by Anne and her son Christopher; Anne is doing the outlines, while Christopher is writing the scripts.
4) DON’T EXPECT TO SEE THE MAYFAIR WITCHES
The six-novel Lives of the Mayfair Witches series began in 1990 and acts as a companion to The Vampire Chronicles, but Rice says that those crossover characters will most definitely not be appearing in the “Vampire Chronicles” TV series. She explained: “They are part of another franchise that has another development history in Hollywood. I cannot use them.”
5) WE MAY MEET BRAND NEW CHARACTERS
When asked if new characters would be injected into the stories for their leap to the small screen, Rice noted that though the major players will remain the same, new peripheral characters may be introduced throughout; and it’s even possible that some of those characters will then find their way into future novels. “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if new characters popped up,” she said.
6) A WHOLE NEW KIND OF TRANSFORMATION
One of the more interesting questions Rice was asked was in regards to which scenes from her books she most wants to see play out in the series, and her answer was the transformation of Lestat into a vampire. During the stage-by-stage transformation, she hopes to be able to capture “what the world looks like to him” in an innovative way that will bring something new to the world of vampire entertainment. “I don’t think it’s ever been done quite like that,” Rice added.
7) LESTAT PROBABLY WON’T BREAK THE FOURTH WALL
In “The Vampire Lestat,” Lestat often breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the readers, which could make for some interesting moments in the television series. But Rice isn’t so sure she wants to keep that storytelling device, as she doesn’t want to be beholden to it throughout the entire series. She explained: “I don’t know if I want to go that route. Once you make a commitment to breaking the fourth wall, it can have a huge amount of power, but then you’re locked into that. There’s something to be said for the more traditional way [of telling a story].”
8) FILMING MAY BEGIN THIS YEAR
It’s a bit too early in the development process to start talking about when we can expect to see “Vampire Chronicles” on our televisions, but Rice did mention during the Q&A that she’s hopeful production will begin by the end of this year. “We are moving rapidly on the creative side,” she said, adding that scripts will be turned in “very soon.” At the earliest, it’ll arrive in 2018.