Decades before the Twilight saga spent multiple years dominating the landscape of vampire fiction, a different series of tales featuring seductive vampires earned legions of fans. Beginning with the 1976 publication of Interview with the Vampire, author Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles franchise has been a favorite of bloodsucker devotees everywhere. Perhaps most well known for introducing the world to centuries-old vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, Rice’s Vampire Chronicles has so far consisted of 11 novels, with a 12th set to hit shelves next week.
Of course, The Vampire Chronicles franchise has by no means been confined to the print realm, having spawned an acclaimed 1994 film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, starring Brad Pitt as morally conflicted vampire Louis and Tom Cruise as his undead companion Lestat. Rice initially expressed misgivings about Cruise’s casting in the role, but was ultimately won over by his performance. A second film followed in 2002, adapting Rice’s book Queen of the Damned, and starring Stuart Townsend as Lestat. The movie was met with a much more negative response than Interview received.
In 2014, it was announced that Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment had acquired the rights to The Vampire Chronicles, with plans to re-adapt Interview for the screen. Those plans are now apparently null and void, as Anne Rice has announced on her Facebook page that she has reacquired the film rights to the universe she created, and is planning to take The Vampire Chronicles saga to TV.
According to Rice, the Vampire Chronicles TV series will – unsurprisingly – center on Lestat, and begin by telling his origin story as written in Rice’s second Chronicles novel The Vampire Lestat. Rice is set to develop a pilot script and overall creative outline for the series alongside her son Christopher, who is at this point a successful author in his own right. Once done with that, both Rices will begin meeting with potential producers about getting the project into motion. The plan is for both Anne and Christopher to serve as executive producers on the show.
In an age where TV is arguably home to much more complex stories and character arcs than the majority of theatrical films, it makes perfect sense that Rice would opt to take her dense vampire saga to the small-screen. With the franchise’s notoriety, it’s hard to imagine that Anne and Christopher will end up waiting long for a production partner to sign on and make their vision a reality.
We’ll keep you updated on The Vampire Chronicles as more information becomes available.