“Are you frightened of you?” Rowan (Alexandra Daddario) is asked by Cortland Mayfair (Harry Hamlin), her family patriarch, and the question is valid. The “13th Witch” of Anne Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches novel series is one of the most unapologetic portrayals of abuse of dark powers in literature. The first trailer from AMC’s Mayfair Witches has nothing to be sorry about in her introduction.
You can watch the trailer here:
The old Mayfair House in New Orleans is known for “murders, disappearances,” but it’s really famous for its witches, something many practitioners prefer to conceal. Rowan’s gifts are so strong, they cannot be hidden or ignored. Neither can Daddario’s wide-eyed journey of discovery. Everything she touches seems to transform reality. It is a family trait, which is only self-destructively irresistible to one witch every generation. Mayfair Witches will stream its first two episodes exclusively on AMC+ on Jan. 5, 2023, and subsequent episodes will roll out weekly.
According to the synopsis, Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches’ eight-episode first season “is an exploration of female power and the mortal implications of our decisions,” and the first and last thing the trailer promises is “the devil comes in many forms.”
The trailer opens with images of a seemingly satanic-tinged path ritual, cinematically enticing, but all too fleeting to tell whether its path leads right or left, but sinister in its presentation. Daddario stars as Dr. Rowan Fielding, a neurosurgeon “who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches.”
The trailer reveals her inheritance may include a specific heirloom which may be the key to her legacy. As the prodigal daughter adorns herself with the jewel-encrusted talisman, she is told “He serves you, not the other way around.” We have to wonder what the key opens. The trailer also briefly turns a late lens to a mysterious upcoming and uninvited visitor, which the synopsis calls “a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.”
The sinister presence is Lasher, played by Jack Huston. He is described as a shape-shifter in advance press, and a voice in the trailer warns he “comes in many forms.” The book’s main male character, Michael Curry, who is brought back to life by Rowan, has been renamed Daniel Emily, and is apparently a memory of the past in the upcoming series.
The sinister presence is Lasher, played by Jack Huston. He is described as a shape-shifter in advance press, and a voice in the trailer warns he “comes in many forms.” The book’s Michael Curry has apparently been renamed Daniel Lemle (Tobias Jelinek).
Tongayi Chirisa plays a character named Ciprien Grieve, who is not in the book. It appears he is a member of the Talamcasca, an order formed in the 14th Century to study the supernatural. Annabeth Gish will recur as Dierdre Mayfair. The series also stars Beth Grant as Carlotta, Erica Gimpel as Ellie, Jen Richards as Jojo.
Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches looks like it will be as mesmerizing a journey of discovery as the book, but only time will tell if the tale can be told as tantalizing on television. The trailer contains flashes which tease of some of the erotic excesses the book enjoyed, along with a growing suspense, and promise of a evil payoff.
The Lives of The Mayfair Witches Series includes the novels The Witching Hour, Lasher, and Taltos. AMC is taking a deep dive into the Anne Rice Universe. They just rolled out Interview with the Vampire, and plan to adapt the full Vampire Chronicles novel series. Rice’s catalog also includes two crossover novels, bridging the supernatural worlds: Merrick, Blackwood Farm, and Blood Canticle.
Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches release date is Jan. 5, 2023. The first two episodes will stream exclusively on AMC+. Subsequent episodes will roll out weekly.