Universal Pictures, along with Imagine Entertainment, just acquired the rights to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I know what you’re thinking: Not another vampire movie. Just hear me out.
I first read Interview with the Vampire when I was way too young, probably sixth grade. I’m sure my parents had no idea what their little girl was up to. They were just happy to see me with a book in my hand. I read the book again as an adult, and well, wow, I really shouldn’t have read that book when I was a kid.
Needless to say, when the movie came out, I demanded to see it, even though I was only 12. I remember watching it in censorship mode: Mom would fast-forward through scenes she deemed “inappropriate.” I eventually saw Interview in its entirety. I own it. When I moved in with my husband, I realized he owned it. Yes, we have two copies of Interview with the Vampire on DVD, OK?
When I heard they were making a Queen of the Damned film, I was freakin’ pumped. Stuart Townsend was a perfect pick to play Lestat, and the imagery in the trailer looked fantastic. Then I saw the movie. The movie sucked. It sucked bad. It was nothing like anything Anne Rice had written. It was almost illegal to even say Queen of the Damned was based on Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. The only thing it had in common was the name Lestat.
Now, they’ve announced that two powerhouse production companies own the rights to The Vampire Chronicles in their entirety, including the as yet unpublished eleventh book, Prince Lestat. I know our society is over-saturated with bloodsuckers. I know they’ve already made Interview with the Vampire (no word on whether they will remake it). I usually complain about Hollywood recycling the same ideas over and over, but for real, I’m excited about this.
I read every book in The Vampire Chronicles. I’m not the only one. The further you get into the series, the more you come to love Lestat. His character arc goes all the way from heaven to hell and back. He is a changed man, over and over. He’s a guy you can spend some time with, as a book nerd and film enthusiast. Plus, in the right hands, these films could be gorgeous. (I am especially interested in an adaptation of Tale of the Body Thief, already penned by Rice’s writer son, Christopher.)
Producer Brian Grazer is the man behind the curtain. His production credits are all over the board, from the TV show 24 to the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind. Word is he’s already hired Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, developers of the monster flicks The Mummy and Van Helsing.
If all goes well, The Vampire Chronicles could be introduced to a new, younger audience who will hopefully see the films and then pick up the books. In regard to the films, I picture a Tim Burton ambiance with a smattering of Dangerous Liaisons; candles, lots of candles; an utter lack of CGI and of course, a stunning young actor, new on the scene, to sweep us off our feet as the vampire Lestat.
There’s always the chance this could get totally screwed up. Here’s hoping Universal finds the right people with the right vision. The film team had better be respectful fans of Anne Rice, or this is not going to work. Where do I volunteer?