Novelist Anne Rice has enjoyed long standing success with her Vampire Chronicles; the series of novels have been written over a 40 year period, with the latest book in the series due out this month. Rice made vampires cool before Edward Cullen had even been thought of, and, unlike the Twilight saga, Rice's vampires are dark, dangerous, and utterly fascinating. Standing at the center of the chronicles is Lestat and Louis, famously immortalized on screen by Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, respectively, in the 1994 adaptation of Interview With the Vampire, Rice's first novel in the series.
The recent announcement by Rice that she had re-acquired the film and TV rights to her Vampire Chronicles series, was met with much enthusiasm from fans of her work; the film version of Interview with the Vampire was well-received but the subsequent Queen of the Damned was not, and many have been longing to see Rice's work make it back to the screen ever since. Rice herself stated in a Facebook post that she would begin working on an open-ended TV series based faithfully on her novel series, with her son, Christopher. Since that post, Rice has spoken more about the project - even throwing a few names out there as her potential leading vampires.
Rice didn't have any specific suggestions when it came to he role of Lestat, but she did reiterate to EW that after her initial misgivings over Cruise's casting, she was very happy with his performance. However, it seems as though this time around, Rice would be looking for someone who is visually very different to Cruise.
"He [Cruise] helped make that character Lestat a household name and an international hero. With casting, first of all, I think with this character it’s very important that the actor look like the character. Because this character’s looks are so much a part of who he is: He’s six feet tall, he has blonde hair and blue eyes, and he’s known for those particular traits. So it would be very nice to have an actor that truly does fit that profile. And after that, I think it’s a matter of a character with a wild sense of humor, maybe an impish quality to him, and then athletic grace and strength."
But Rice did name names when it came to the roles of Louis and Marius, two other characters that feature heavily in the chronicles. It's very evident that Rice's work is dear to her heart and, though she says her son will serve as executive producer, Rice still knows exactly what she wants from whomever is cast as Louis:
"Beauty. Great beauty. It’s Louis’ beauty that attracted Lestat to him, and I would hope it would be a beautiful actor like Matt Bomer. Somebody with that incredible beauty."
And as for Maurius, Rice offered the following:
"I would absolutely love it if Matthew MacFadyen, the British actor, ever wanted to be part of this and wanted to play Marius. Marius is one of the pillars of the Chronicles – 2,000 years old – and I am an absolute, stoned fan of Matthew MacFadyen in Ripper Street and every other show that he’s ever done."
Neither actor is a stranger to the thriller/ horror genre, with Bomer having featured in two seasons of American Horror Story and MacFadyen having worked on a variety of chilling TV series such as Spooks, The Enfield Haunting, and the aforementioned Ripper Street. However, it remains to be seen whether Rice could get her wish and land either of these actors in a lead role. The writer herself admits that she is only at the very early planning stages of the TV series, so to talk about casting is somewhat premature. Rice also mentions that she has had two pilots in the past that weren't picked up, so there's always a chance that The Vampire Chronicles might never actually make it to air.
Rice envisions starting with the second book in the series, The Vampire Lestat, and that alone will take two whole seasons to be told. Which is to say, if the show does make it to air, whomever takes on these pivotal roles better be in it for the long haul.
We will bring you more news on The Vampire Chronicles as it develops.