Great news for all vampire fans. Our favorite (yes, ours) series of vampire novels will soon be coming to our TV sets. Whether they’ll be on network TV or Netflix is yet unclear, but author, Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, wants her creations to be seen on the small screen. Wasn’t there supposed to be a reboot or sequel after Queen of the Damned? Apparently, that project has been canceled, and Anne Rice got her novels’ theatrical rights back.
“The theatrical rights to the Vampire Chronicles are once again in my hands, free and clear! I could not be more excited about this… A television series of the highest quality is now my dream for Lestat, Louis, Armand, Marius and the entire tribe. In this, the new golden age of television, such a series is THE way to let the entire story of the vampires unfold.”
— Anne Rice, Facebook post
Let’s go back a few years and recap on how her series became very popular. We have Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst and Christian Slater to thank for it. The film Interview with the Vampire, based on Anne Rice’s first book of the series catapulted her Vampire Chronicles to new heights. It was a critical and commercial success and a damn good vampire story. Anne Rice’s novels made vampires more human, more sensual, attractive and passionate than the run of the mill animalistic vampires of old. Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Interview with the Vampire created a sort of Vampire renaissance in film, and we’ve been treated with more vampire films and TV series ever since.
Though Interview with the Vampire was a success, its follow-up Queen of the Damned was reviled by critics as well as by this author. It was a chore to sit through and never wish to see it again unlike its predecessor which I watch all the way through whenever I catch it on TV. It might be a fine film for anyone not familiar with the novels, but it was a travesty for those who did. With all due respect to the late Aaliyah who took on the title role, the film really sucked (pun not intended). Also, for fans of the first film and have not read the novels, the real protagonist of the series is the bratty Lestat, not sympathetic Louis.
The transition of The Vampire Chronicles to the small screen is a wonderful development as we will get to see the incredible universe Mrs. Rice built around the vampire Lestat. We’ll get to see not only the history of vampires but of other beings like witches and spirits and even angels. This won’t be like Supernatural folks. If done right, this could be right up there with Game of Thrones. This could be epic in scope, with much sexuality and emotion, like Queen of the Damned (the book). What killed the Queen of the Damned film was its very liberal treatment of two great epic books compressed into a 90-minute mess. Seriously, going with The Vampire Lestat alone could have made The Vampire Chronicles a true film franchise. Re-creating early 17th century France was probably too much for the film’s production budget. Plus, the supposed lead of the Queen of the Damned follow-up was Jared Leto. Mr. Leto may be a passionate actor, as over-the-top as Tom Cruise but the source material calls for a young, blonde white male with French features, something Mrs. Rice seems to hinge upon. Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned simply wasn’t a good fit. It felt like watching The Crow. Changing leads isn’t always a good idea. The first film bagged three of the time’s hottest actors why couldn’t they stick to one?
“…Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment had optioned the series to develop motion pictures from it, and though we had the pleasure of working with many fine people in connection with this plan, it did not work out… It is, more than ever, abundantly clear that television is where the vampires belong.”
The Vampire Chronicles are made up of twelve books which, if written and produced properly are several seasons worth of TV and a roller-coaster ride through various time periods. Blood and Gold, Pandora and The Vampire Armand can be a separate series in themselves.
- Interview with the Vampire – former plantation owner turned vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac tells his tale to a reporter
- The Vampire Lestat – Lestat tells his side of Loius’ tale as well as his origin. Through his journeys, he awakens a threat to the world and all other vampires
- The Queen of the Damned – the tale of Lestat against the world’s first vampires and learns of their colorful history
- The Tale of the Body Thief – Lestat is tricked into switching bodies with a cunning thief who wants his powers
- Memnoch the Devil – Lestat meets the Devil himself and takes him on a theological tour
- The Vampre Armand – though recounted by Marius in The Vampre Lestat, Armand tells his tale in full detail
- Merrick – brings together Anne Rice’s vampires and the witches in her other series Lives of the Mayfair Witches
- Blood and Gold – a complete re-telling of the history of Marius
- Blackwood Farm – a young man named Tarquin requests the help of Lestat and Merrick to battle an evil spirit
- Blood Canticle – fully brings together characters from the Mayfair Witches and Vampire Chronicles. Lestat, Tarquin and young Mona Mayfair discover the mystery to the disease that has long plagued the Mayfair clan
- Prince Lestat – Lestat seeks to bring order to the chaos among vampires caused by his absence
- Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Anne will be aided by her son Christopher Rice in working out the screenplays, but it’s not yet known which outfit will produce this potential TV series. The relationships between the vampires will be very sensual, sexual and will cater much to the LGBT crowd and even ruffle some feathers in theological circles. The nature of these stories is pretty mature and may be more apt for late nights or through digital distribution like Netflix. This news is exciting and for sure fans of Anne Rice’s novels are thrilled. This is romanticized vampires done right. The sun burns them, period.
It seems doubtful that this would go to the major networks as it will likely lose too much of what the series (at least the first couple books) so well loved. Fingers crossed it’s a Netflix production as it can stay faithful to the books.