The Vampire Chronicles television series project has found itself a home on Hulu!
In what was reportedly a competitive bidding situation amongst outlets, Hulu has landed the television project, according to THR. The project will adapt Anne Rice’s groundbreaking 11-novel vampire literary mythology, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, which center on the hedonistic vampire Lestat de Lioncourt. The books were most prominently represented by director Neil Jordan’s 1994 film, Interview with the Vampire, which starred Tom Cruise (as Lestat), Brad Pitt and Christian Slater. There was also director Michael Rymer’s 2002 adaptation film, Queen of the Damned, which starred the late singer, Aaliyah, and Stuart Townsend.
Author Anne Rice, upon regaining the theatrical rights to her literary mythology in November 2016, wasted no time in moving forward with the television project. Five months later, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content optioned the rights for the literary franchise to develop said television project. Consequently, both Anne and her son, Christopher Rice, will be onboard the project as executive producers, joined in that capacity by Anonymous Content’s David Kanter and Steve Golin.
The January acquisition of Bryan Fuller as showrunner seemed like an auspicious development. However, the television maestro of Pushing Daisies, Hannibal and American Gods has been somewhat of a rolling stone as of late, having vacated both the second season of American Gods and his coveted Star Trek: Discovery tenure, as well as 1980s anthology reboot Amazing Stories. Indeed, Fuller would exit The Vampire Chronicles just four months after his appointment, leaving the project – now set to be hosted by Hulu – where it currently stands: rudderless.
Of course, with the Hulu deal now in place, expect the search for a new skipper to be a top priority.
The Vampire Chronicles Details
Fuller seemed the perfect choice to direct a bloodsucking universe where there is no need for guilt because there is no god to the lead character. The vampire Lestat de Lioncourt outlived the need for any higher authority as he prowled the lower reaches of history’s darkest nights. Maybe Fuller couldn’t deal with the upcoming remorse of Louis de Pointe du Lac, whose whining regrets after years of bad blood dwarf even Lon Chaney Jr’s wolfman’s monthly pleas of “don’t let me kill tonight.”
Lestat, Louis, and Claudia will still emerge from their sun-screened rooms to sink their teeth into prime time. Eleven of the books will be adapted into a TV series from Paramount Television. Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles will be getting an annotated cosmology in the companion book The Alphabettery, Entertainment Weekly reported. The book was compiled and written by Rice’s longtime assistant Becket, a scholar of Rice’s works. The Alphabettery will break down all things Vampire Chronicke “from A(kasha) to Z(enobia).” The introduction was written by Rice. Illustrations were done by Mark Edward Geyer (Who Was Charles Dickens?).
The Rice family posted the cover page for the pilot episode’s script to the Facebook page for The Vampire Chronicles, Elizabeth Rayne wrote in Syfywire. The page is labeled “The Vampire Lestat” – Episode 101, “Wolf Killer.”
Anne Rice’s followed up with a pinprick of a tease. “Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask,” she wrote to the Facebook page. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds — justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.”
A follower asked whether production started on the series. “No,” Rice replied. “It will be a while before actual production begins. I’m not sure how many scripts must be written before that decision is made, but I would think quite a few.”
Mother and son will executive produce alongside Anonymous Content’s David Kanter and Steve Golin. The first director hired was Fuller.
“We bought 11 novels as part of the Vampire Chronicles initiative,” Paramount TV President Amy Powell told The Hollywood Reporter when the deal was first announced. “Bryan Fuller is working with Anne Rice and [her son] Chris, who are writing the pilot. We are hoping he chooses to stay on and potentially showrun.”
The Vampire Chronicles Story
Anne Rice first hinted that she may be adapting her Vampire Chronicles book series into an open-ended TV series “of the highest quality” at end of 2016.
“The theatrical rights to the Vampire Chronicles are once again in my hands, free and clear!,” Rice wrote to Faebook on Nov. 26, 2016.
“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. — 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. —– When we sit down finally to talk to producers, we will have a fully realized vision of this project with Christopher as the executive producer at the helm. I will also be an executive producer all the way. —- Again, I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to be able to announce this. —- 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. —- Over the years you all have told me how much you want to see a Game of Thrones style faithful rendering of this material, and how much you want for the series to remain in my control. Well, I have heard you. I have always heard you. What you want is what I want. — You, the readers, made these books a success before any movie was ever made based on them, and I will never forget that fact. —- Christopher and I will be posting many questions on the page for your input in the days to come. —– I am filled with optimism this morning about the future for my beloved Brat Prince. What better way to start a tour for the new book!”
Rice’s vampire book series told the tale of bloodsuckers Lestat de Lioncourt, Louis, the ever-young Claudia, Armand, Marius and the cast of the Theatres des Vampires. The series currently consists of 11 books, which started with Interview with the Vampire. The 12th book, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, will be published on Nov. 29.
Two of the books have been adapted for film. Tom Cruise played Lestat, Brad Pitt played Louis and Kirsten Dunst played Claudia in the 1994 Warner Bros. film Interview with the Vampire. Queen of the Damned from 2002 starred Stuart Townsend as Lestat and Aaliyah as Queen Akasha.
Anne Rice has written over 30 novels. Besides the The Vampire Chronicles series, she also authored a Witch series and the sexy escapist Exit to Eden. She also wrote Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, and The Young Messiah, which was released in early 2016.
The Vampire Chronicles Cast
Vampire fans may remember the public battles that erupted after Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat in the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire. The author envisioned Blade Runner replicant Rutger Hauer as the charismatic bloodsucker, and was very vocal about it. She complained about it in interviews, in ads, and probably to passing strangers on the streetcars of New Orleans. Rice changed her tune after she saw the movie, taking out ads all over again blessing the union. For the upcoming series The Vampire Chronicles, she is not going to let that happen again. Rice’s fans have a stake in this coveted vampire casting call.
“Guys, we talk a lot about who can play Lestat,” Rice wrote on The Vampire Chronicles official Facebook page back in July of 2017.
“And we all know that if we don’t get that right, nothing else may matter. This is one series in which the star plays a super hero role. I am thinking an unknown will come to us for the part. But who are the up and coming young actors you all see and want to suggest? Include pix if you can. And any data. I love reading your responses. And yes, we’ve done this before with less focus perhaps on “up and coming.” But let’s do it again.”
The Facebook page is, of course, brimming with helpful hints from fans.
The Vampire Chronicles Release Date
Don’t expect it until at least 2019. We’ll update this with more information when it becomes available.
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.