Well it appears a new feature film franchise based on Anne Rice’s rich series of The Vampire Chronicles books is no more. Back in August 2014, Universal and Imagine teamed up to secure the rights to the book series, planning a new interconnected franchise to be produced by Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. Their first feature was set as an adaptation of The Vampire Lestat, with The Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone poised to write and direct, but Boone subsequently became busy with his The Stand adaptation and developing the X-Men spinoff New Mutants, and we haven’t heard anything else since.
Until today, that is. Rice herself took to Facebook to announce that she has regained the theatrical rights to The Vampire Chronicles, adding that she now plans to see the books turned into a prestige TV series.
“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. — My son Christopher Rice and I will be developing a pilot script and a detailed outline for an open ended series, faithfully presenting Lestat’s story as it is told in the books, complete with the many situations that readers expect to see. We will likely begin with ‘The Vampire Lestat’ and move on from there.”
Rice adds that she and her son plan on serving as executive producers, and that they’ll formulate this outline and plan before going out to producers who will then likely shop the project around to networks. But what happened to the big-budget movie franchise?
“As many of you know, 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.”
Rice notes that fans have been telling her for years they want to see a Game of Thrones-style adaptation of the series, adding that that’s also what she’d like to see. And TV really does sound like a perfect fit for this book series. Neil Jordan’s 1994 adaptation Interview with the Vampire is terrific and still stands up today, but given the lengthy schedules of moviemaking and the complicated deal process with actors, seeing further Vampire films come to fruition proved difficult. Eventually, in 2002, a sequel/reboot was attempted with Queen of the Damned, but it paled in comparison to the thoughtfulness of Interview with the Vampire.
But a TV series, spanning many years and multiple seasons in an effort to tell the complete Vampire Chronicles story, could be perfect. True Blood was a massive hit for HBO so it’s possible that pay cable network would want to dive back into vampire lore, or perhaps the series could land on Netflix given that the streaming service seemingly has an unending amount of money with which to develop original series. And given that there are so many books, you could even have established filmmakers come in to helm entire seasons based on single books, so that the tone and aesthetic of the series can evolve from season-to-season. Or maybe just going the Game of Thrones route is the easiest/best way to do it.
Whatever the case, I’m eager to see what becomes of this. What say you, folks? Where would you like to see a Vampire Chronicles TV series end up?