Hulu put a stake in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series adaptation after almost a year of development, according to Variety. But, like Lestat de Lioncourt himself, the project may not be going to ground for too long.
What’s an Anne Rice project without controversy? Fans of the series bared fangs when Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat in the film Interview with the Vampire. Bryan Singer (Hannibal, American Gods) dropped out of the showrunner role on the project in January of 2018. He was replaced by Dee Johnson (Nashville). The series is executive produced by Anne and her son Christopher Rice, along with David Kanter and Steve Golin of Anonymous Content.
“A television series of the highest quality is now my dream for Lestat, Louis, Armand, Marius and the entire tribe,” Rice enthused over Facebook when Paramount Television and Anonymous Content optioned the rights to her gothic novels in 2017. “In this the new Golden Age of television, such a series is THE way to let the entire story of the vampires unfold.” The potential series landed at Hulu in July 2018.
If Rice has taught us anything, we know immortality always comes at a price. To nab the series, the author is asking $30 to $40 million for the rights to all 11 of the Vampire Chronicles books in perpetuity. It also includes the rights to her Mayfair Witches books, which take place in the same universe.
The media franchise opened with the 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire, a conversation with a French colonial aristocrat Louis. He lived in New Orleans in the mid-18th century. He was turned into a vampire by a mischievous bloodsucker whose story was told in the 1985 sequel novel The Vampire Lestat. They turned a young girl named Claudia into a vampire and events escalated across continents, undersea, and through time and the heavens itself.
Well, maybe not heavens, but Lestat met Satan and virtual goddess Queen Akasha, played by the R&B singer Aaliyah in The Queen of the Damned, the 2002 film adaptation of Rice’s third novel of the series, which came out in 1988. The 1994 movie Interview with the Vampire starred Brad Pitt as Louis, Kirsten Dunst as the doomed young vampire, and Christian Slater as the author taking the notes. It also featured Antonio Banderas. Rice published The Witching Hour in 1990, which began The Mayfair Witches series.
Hulu did not give a reason for cancelling the project. We will keep you up-to-date on the continuing chronicles of The Vampire Chronicles.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.
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