This article contains spoilers from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles novels.
While production on AMC’s Interview with The Vampire is currently staked by strikes, the teaser trailer for season 2 shows the crew is in the midst of preparing a most sumptuous meal. Based on Anne Rice’s iconic and bestselling novel, the first season stoked the rising passion between New Orleans minor gangland figure Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson), the masterful mentoring of the internationally traveled vampire Lestat De Lioncourt (Sam Reid), and the ageless complications of the unfortunate Claudia, the immortal child now played by Delainey Hayles, who replaces Bailey Bass as the series escapes to Paris.
The trailer begins with journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) clicking record on his laptop and asking, “OK, so where did we leave off?” Considering the abrupt break in family relations which ended the premiere season, there is nowhere to move but forward through the past. As Armand (Assad Zaman) and Louis give a knowing look, the curtain comes up on the Théâtre des Vampires.
You can watch the trailer here:
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Théâtre des Vampire,” a ceremonial master proclaims. “Everything you’re about to see is real.” Of course, this follows a visual of a very obvious strategically rope noosed to help the stage-bound actors make leaps into the imagination.
First introduced in Rice’s book Interview with the Vampire, Théâtre des Vampires was located in Temple du Boulevard in Paris. It is very loosely based on the notorious and scandalous naturalistic horror house Grand-Guignol, which held macabre performances so violent and unnerving, audiences ran out to vomit. Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol began on the smallest stage venue in Paris, a former chapel in the Quartier Pigalle section in 1897, and became a Parisian institution. It is the first horror theater. The last Grand Guignol performance was 1962’s production of Les Yeux sans visage.
The building is still there, and the trailer makes it seem as if the ghost of some of the old artwork can be discerned on the wooden beams. Claudia sees a portrait prominently placed in the theater, and wants to know “Who’s that handsome man on the wall?”
Armand is surprised she can’t place him, as he is a legend on the dark Paris stage, still renowned for his role as Lelio, the hero of the play The Romance of Lelio and Isabella. “Our co-founder, Lestat de Lioncourt,” Armand explains.
In Rice’s second book, The Vampire Lestat, we learn a very human, and extremely musical Lestat worked at the theater while it was run by a cruel and usurious owner, first doing drudge work, and later, acting in the troupe. Learning and loving with a virtuoso violinist, Lestat arouses the interest of an ancient vampire, who sees a worthy mortal recipient of the Dark Gift.
Lestat is also bequeathed enough money to buy the theater, and proceeds to frighten theatergoers by merely playing himself. He urges the others to do the same, using their vampiric abilities to become acrobats and other employable entertainers, while he takes his troupe on the road to England. But Armand was bitten by more than the acting bug.
“Louis and Claudia, welcome to our coven,” we hear in the trailer. Up to now, the teasing promotional video has only shown the Americans in Paris partaking in bloody street theater. Moving forward through the book’s adaptation, we will enter the rites of The Children of Darkness, who bring old ways to a new age of evil, and dinner is always at its most presentable. When Louis and Claudia see what’s ready on the menu, they are prepared to partake in the feast.
As can be seen in the 1994 Neil Jordan adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, Théâtre des Vampires served up the most succulent juice of prime meat still in its prime. The first volunteer in that film may as well have been veal, the way her tender youth yields a richer flavor. The young woman will never grow old, but she will not live forever except as a memory of a particularly fine dining experience, served in the best venal venue with a view. Théâtre des Vampires is a specialty dinner theater, where the audience pays good money to be broken like bread for a last supper, and are quite upset when passed over.
The trailer makes the arc of the coven appear ominously compelling, and Paris as a city of cryptic hallways, and subterranean mysteries. It appears viewers will climb through the catacombs below the novel’s Cemetery of the Innocents to uncover deeper secrets.
Anne Rice’s universe is as seductive as it is haunting, and AMC plans to connect the dark matter. Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches promises a crossover with Lestat, among other possibilities. The network has three more new series in the works.
Interview With the Vampire season 2 kicked off principal photography last April, but has not finished filming, delayed by ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes. The series is slated for a 2024 premiere. All episodes of Interview With the Vampire season 1 can be streamed on AMC+.
Interview with the Vampire season 2 will air in 2024, on AMC and AMC+