While HBO’s True Blood may be ending its run after seven seasons this year, it might not be the last we ever see of the oversexed bloodsuckers of Bon Temps. Entertainment Weekly has learned that HBO is in “very early discussions” for a True Blood musical. Series composer Nathan Barr has apparently pitched the idea for a musical based on the show, and told the Associated Press that his hope is that the show would be in the workshop stages in about a year. He also said that the musical would “try to return to the roots of the show” which probably means more focus on Bon Temps and the Sookie/Bill Compton dynamic than fairies and shape-shifters. The other question surrounding this potential musical is whether or not any series cast members will be involved. Usually I’d say “no way”, but Vampire Bill himself Stephen Moyer reportedly helped Barr put together samples for his pitch to HBO.
A True Blood musical, no matter how popular the show is, is going to be an uphill battle, simply because almost all modern vampire themed musicals have flopped hard. An adaptation of Roman Polanski’s Dance of the Vampires opened and closed on Broadway in 2003 in just over a month, its $12 million loss making it one of the costliest theatrical flops in history. Then there was Dracula the musical from the creators of Jekyll and Hyde, which fared slightly better and “only” lost only $7 million before shutting down within five months of its August 2004 opening. The final nail in the proverbial coffin (sorry) was Elton John’s 2006 adaptation of Anne Rice’s Lestat, which only played on Broadway for two months, and which never even released a cast album, despite having recorded one.
Maybe the only successful vampire musical has been “Once More, With Feeling,” the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon has hinted that he’d like to do a proper Buffy musical one day, but is currently somewhat preoccupied with all things Marvel. The irony in all this is the modern obsession with vampires can actually be traced back to musical theater versions of The Vampyr in the mid-19th century, decades before Bram Stoker put pen to paper.
As for this True Blood musical, all I know is that if it actually does happen, there had better be a ballad from Bill called “Sookie is Mine.” Just sayin’.