Anne Rice’s seminal vampire Lestat basically sat out the whole recent vampire craze in media, which included True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and, of course, Twilight. But with all of those series either finished or winding down (although The Vampire Diaries likely has a few more years left it it), now is the time for Anne Rice’s immortals to come back and stake their space again in popular culture.
According to a report in Variety, the complete series of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles has landed at Universal, and will be developed as a movie series once again. Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment are set to produce, along with two names very familiar to Nerdist readers, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Before some of you get your feathers ruffled, know this: it doesn’t appear that the screenwriting duo behind The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are going to be writing the scripts for these, though. Instead, Anne Rice’s own son, novelist Christopher Rice is going to be writing at least one of them, as his script for The Tale of the Body Thief (the fourth book in the series) is being used as a reboot of the whole series.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that the Vampire Lestat and his cohorts have been on the big screen. In 1994 Tom Cruise played Lestat in the successful adaptation of Rice’s first novel Interview with the Vampire, much to Anne Rice’s (and most fans’) initial skepticism, before winning everyone over by throwing himself completely into the part. Despite the success of the movie, back in the ’90s studios didn’t think of signing stars to multiple movies at once, and everyone became too pricey for a sequel.
In an effort to retain the rights, Warner Bros. crapped out a low budget sequel meant for the straight to video market allegedly based on the third book, The Queen of the Damned. The tragic and untimely death of star Aaliyah meant the movie got a theatrical release anyway in 2002. Unfortunately, the sequel was terrible and barely resembled the book, essentially killing the franchise for Warner Bros. and putting the whole series on ice for over a decade now. Although I’d much rather have a high-end cable television series based on The Vampire Chronicles, perhaps Universal will give the fans the version of these stories we’ve been waiting for.