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5 Things We Want to See in Anne Rice’s VAMPIRE CHRONICLES TV Series

5 Things We Want to See in Anne Rice’s VAMPIRE CHRONICLES TV Series

Recently, author Anne Rice announced that she had regained the rights to her long running Vampire Chronicles series of novels, with the intention of turning the adventures of Lestat and his immortal cohorts into an open ended series for television. This is the news fans have been waiting for years to hear, as a proper version of the novels can only really be done justice in a long form television format. And as of April 2017, Deadline reports that Paramount TV and Anonymous Content have optioned the rights to develop a series with Anne Rice and her son, Christopher Rice, at the helm.

But there are some things that Rice and the producers of the show should keep in mind when forging ahead with the new series, and we’re here to offer five of our best suggestions for what should be an amazing adaptation.

Each season should focus on one novel (two seasons for the longer books)

Rice’s Vampire Chronicles books are fairly long and complex affairs, and filled with many characters with alternating points of view. Each of these characters tell stories within stories, and there are flashbacks within flashbacks, which is why it’s imperative not to rush through the novels and edit all the best parts out of them.

The first book in the series, Interview with the Vampire, is really the only one that is told from one character’s POV, which is why it was the easiest to adapt into a film. The rest of the books do not lend themselves so easily to film, but are perfect for modern day television. In fact, some of the books in the series, namely The Vampire Lestat and the Queen of the Damned, could probably constitute two seasons worth of TV each.

Don’t be afraid to expand beyond the novels

One of the strengths of current adaptations of long running written material like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead is knowing what works and what doesn’t work in one medium versus the other, and not being afraid to make changes. Both of these shows also added characters that weren’t part of the original works they were based on to great success.

Rice and the producers of the new The Vampire Chronicles show should keep this in mind when producing the series. You can’t stray too far from the source material, because when that happens you get the movie version of Queen of the Damned (and nobody wants that fiasco again). But Rice shouldn’t be afraid to add all-new characters and situations that didn’t appear in the books. There need to be some surprises in there for longtime fans.

Not every one of the books need to be adapted

The first five books in the series more or less have the charismatic and charming Lestat as the central figure, so they should be easy enough to adapt. But as much of fan of The Vampire Chronicles as I am, there are some later books in the saga like Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle, which combine elements of the vampire lore with Rice’s other series about a family of witches in New Orleans, which I would skip over for TV, and go straight to the more recent Prince Lestat books.

If the character of Lestat is going to be your throughline main character, which I imagine he is going to be, it might also be wise to amend some of the later vampire “memoir” novels like The Vampire Armand and Blood and Gold to include more Lestat in them, as he only briefly appears in those books.

Make sure everyone looks the part

In most adaptations of books or comics, how the characters look is absolutely secondary and open to interpretation. But in the Vampire Chronicles, beauty and appearance really do matter. The characters’ physical attributes are very much a part of who they are, and mortals are often picked to be vampires based on their beauty and physical appearance. Plus, each character has their own historical background that reflects a certain time and culture, from ancient Egypt to present day New York. As a French aristocrat from the 1700s, Lestat should be a striking, tall man with androgynous features and long blonde hair.

Hiring actors the correct age is important, too. Child vampire Claudia absolutely needs to be a little girl when she is made into a vampire, and not a teenager, or her tragedy doesn’t carry the same weight. And the young vampire coven leader Armand does need to be a teenager this time. Antonio Banderas, while great, was too old for that part in the movie. When all else fails, stick to the character descriptions in the books.

Keep the 20th Century portions in period as well

While the bulk of the action of The Vampire Chronicles takes place in centuries past, certain parts of them do take place in “modern” times. But it’s been forty years now since Interview with the Vampire was first published, and I think it’s important to keep the TV series in period for the modern parts as well. That means when the boy reporter interviews the vampire Louis and gets him to share his story, it should be in the 1970s.

More importantly, when Lestat reemerges in modern times and becomes a rock star, and spreads his story via MTV music videos, it should be in the 1980s. Let’s face it, the whole “vampire rock star” thing is a very ’80s concept, and really only works in that era. Not to mention, if Lestat were to use MTV to get his stories across now, it would be via a reality show. And nobody wants to see that.

What aspects of Rice’s novels do you want to see adapted for television the most? Let us know down below in the comments.

Images: Alfred A. Knopf / Warner Brothers / Innovation Comics

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