So there’s good news and bad news for you fans of author Anne Rice’s long running Vampire Chronicles series of novels. Despite the rights to the stories of Lestat and his cohorts having been purchased by Imagine Entertainment and Universal Studios two years ago to be developed as a series of films, Rice has just announced (via her Facebook) that there will be no Interview with the Vampire movie reboot. That was supposed to be directed by Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars), who recently shared an image of his script for the project on social media back in May.
The good news however, is much better. Because the rights have reverted back to her, she and her son, fellow author Christopher Rice, are now developing the property for television. Here are some of the details according to Rice’s post:
“my son Christopher Rice and I will be developing a pilot script and a detailed outline for an open ended series, faithfully presenting Lestat’s story as it is told in the books, complete with the many situations that readers expect to see. We will likely begin with The Vampire Lestat and move on from there. When we sit down finally to talk to producers, we will have a fully realized vision of this project with Christopher as the executive producer at the helm. I will also be an executive producer all the way. Again, I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to be able to announce this.”
Rice added “It is, more than ever, abundantly clear that television is where the vampires belong. —- 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.”
In this era of big budget studio filmmaking having to be all about four quadrant blockbusters, the idea of squeezing The Vampire Chronicles series into a narrow definition that had to appeal to the masses seemed like fighting an uphill battle. Cable television is clearly where this property belongs, similar to works like Y: The Last Man and (hopefully, someday) Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Some works are just too long and sprawling to be done as a two- or even three-hour film.
So where will this series end up? Right now, who knows, this seems like the very earliest stages. Everyone says HBO, but these days HBO is not the only place with high quality productions for television. AMC, Starz, FX, and others could easily be a home for a Vampire Chronicles TV series. Although the obvious choice, one would think, would be Netflix. (Showtime has a Penny Dreadful sized hole to fill right about now too).
One of the great things about having the Rices be in control is that the adult themes and subtext of the series won’t be stripped away just for spectacle and action, something a movie series was always in danger of having to deal with. While big budget Hollywood movies are afraid of being “too talky” or “too gay” still, cable television doesn’t nearly have that problem.
There are now 13 books in The Vampire Chronicles series, with a 14th, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, hitting bookstores on November 29th. That is more than enough to fill several seasons worth of television. The show will have to be impeccably cast, of course, but with the Rices at the helm, it’s unlikely we are going to get any out-of-left-field casting choices this time. Although right now I’d like to cast my vote for Michelle Pfeiffer as Lestat’s vampiric mother, Gabrielle.
What would you like to see in a Vampire Chronicle TV series? And who would you like to see play Lestat, Louis, Claudia and the rest? Let us know down below in the comments.
Images: Warner Brothers