Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’ Rights Acquired by Universal

Published 8 months ago by

Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview With the Vampire Anne Rices Vampire Chronicles Rights Acquired by Universal

The Twilight saga might be over and done with, but vampires are still very much in style. From TV series like The Vampire Diaries and The Strain to upcoming movies like New Zealand horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows, these creatures of the night continue to demonstrate their undying (pun!) appeal with audiences.

Easily one of the most prominent vampire franchises of the past few decades is novelist Anne Rices book series The Vampire Chronicles. Two of the books in the series – “Interview With the Vampire” and “Queen of the Damned” – have already been adapted, and several years ago Universal Pictures was planning an adaptation of “The Vampire Lestat”, with Robert Downey Jr. rumored to be in talks for the titular role. Now it looks like Universal is getting these plans (some of them, at least) back on track.

The Wrap is reporting that Universal has acquired the rights to Rice’s Vampire Chronicles for Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment – with Roberto Orci and Robert Kurtzman also set to produce. There are no details yet as to which novel Kurtzman and Orci intend to adapt first, but since Universal’s deal includes the adaptation rights to all eleven of the Vampire Chronicles books (as well as the screenplay for “Tale of the Body Thief” penned by Christopher Rice), it sounds like the studio is interested in trying to build a franchise.

Queen of the Damned Anne Rices Vampire Chronicles Rights Acquired by Universal

Regular collaborators Kurtzman and Orci have been extremely busy as of late, with Orci recently tapped to make his feature directorial debut with Star Trek 3 after co-writing the screenplay for the previous two big screen Star Trek movies with Kurtzman. The pair are also working on a big screen adaptation of Joe Hill’s graphic novel series Locke & Key, and Kurtzman is set to direct Venom for Sony – after he directs Universal’s The Mummy reboot for release in 2016, that is.

Universal’s revitalized interest in The Vampire Chronicles raises the question of which actor would be best to play Lestat. When Downey Jr. was rumored for the role some fans of the books complained that he was too old to play Lestat de Lioncourt, though Rice herself said that it wouldn’t matter since “a twenty year old man in the 18th century is the equivalent of an older man today. Age just shouldn’t be an issue here.” All the same, Downey Jr. is now 49 years old and fully embedded in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it might be better for the producers to find a slightly younger (and more affordable) star.

It probably won’t be long before Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch find fans rooting for them to take the role, since their pale skin and pronounced cheekbones make them ideal candidates for vampire roles. Hiddleston succumbed to this inevitability recently by starring in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire romance Only Lovers Left Alive, so perhaps it will be Cumberbatch’s turn next.

We’ll keep you updated on The Vampire Chronicles as development continues.

Source: The Wrap

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. I think RDJ would be a bad fit for Lestat personally. Lee Pace perhaps?

  2. I’d say some young, ruggedly handsome actor, who could easily portray either a young Feudal Lord, a rock star, or an insane shut-in. A couple names:

    Liam Hemsworth (1st choice)
    Zach Efron
    Christopher Egan
    Alexander Skarsgard

    • I like the Zach Efron idea actually.

  3. ‘titular’

  4. Ben Barnes would be perfect! If you have seen Dorian Gray, then you know he is the perfect person to play a dark character!

  5. LeStat is a 21 year old 6′ blond French aristocrat. How on earth does this sound like RDJ? How about Charlie Hunnam? He’ll be done with SOA by then.

    • Well, it doesn’t sound like Tom Cruise either but they cast him anyways. I’d love Alexander Skaarsgard but I don’t think they will since he’s already known for playing a vampire.

      • I can’t recall how/why Cruise got the role though it was probably because he was a hot commodity at the time. I believe Adrian Sands was the first choice and the actor that Rice originally wanted?

    • I like Hunnam but the guy really only plays Jax Teller in every role I’ve seen him in. Jax Teller vs Giant Monsters, Jax Teller in love, Jax Teller in an effed up suicide romance etc etc.

  6. Ben Foster perhaps?

  7. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman need to be stopped.

    • And congratulated on a job well done so far.

    • Here here! Cast ye franchising demons out! Nay more reboots. Put an end to this homogenization

    • Amen to that brother !
      Slowly I really have enough of those guys !
      They seem to have their finger in every pie these days !
      Does not taste good !

  8. En lo personal pienso que no ahi nadie como Tom Cruise para el papel de Lestat no importa su edad el era el Lestat que tanto imagine en el libro

  9. Yessss !!

    I’m super excited about this. Finally a good Vampire film franchise to wash away that horrible ‘Twilight’ stain.

  10. Definitely Tom Hiddleston or Alexander Skarsgard!

  11. Oh yeah, just what we need.
    MORE Vampire movies.
    After dozens of assorted Vampire themed movies & TV shows, hasn’t Hollywood run these things into the ground by now?
    Try some creativity & originality for a change.

    • Complaining about the originality of film projects is ridiculous. Just go support movies you like and ignore movies you don’t. That’s what the rest of us do…

  12. Lee Pace would be perfect for the role of Lestat.

  13. If only Leo DiCaprio was younger. He would be perfect as Louis. Sadly, he’ll be in his mid-40s by the time this franchise is in production.

  14. In so many ways I believe that Charlie Hunnam is born to play this role. Few actors match his innate sensitivity & even fewer can match his controlled (& otherwise…) fierceness & visceral physical & emotional violence. I’m challenged to think of one who can match both, as he does.

    This guy is a rare kind of actor. All Hunnam has left before anointment into The Acting Knighthood is the kind of role & performance dynamic duo that Lestat offers.

    I’m passionate about who gets the role because Rice’s Vampire Chronicles are some of the finest fiction I’ve read, as the characters she created are of the finest immortal braids. And Lestat? He is one of the most important literary characters & strongly deserves a faithful adaptation with fantastic casting.

    Louis? Well, I’ve got more to think about…

  15. Is there some law written somewhere that Orci and Kurtzman are required to produce every film franchise in Hollywood?

    • Smells like a deal with the devil.

      Ummm, yeah right, in Hollywood. What was I thinking?

      2nd most likely place, after The Vatican…

  16. Bill Skarsgård from Netflix Hemlock Grove

  17. I’m not sure who to pick for these roles, but I would like to see actors in their early twenties cast.

  18. Just watched Spider Man 2 and I think Dane DeHaan should be the next Lestat. He passes as a 20 year old and definitely has the natural features. Just strap some platforms on him like you did to Tom. You definitely shouldn’t be using Robert Downy Jr for Lestat… are you crazy?!?!