Back in 2014, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment acquired the rights to author Anne Rice's novel series The Vampire Chronicles, which included the iconic novels Interview With the Vampire, Queen of the Damned and The Vampire Lestat. A film adaptation of Interview With the Vampire came together quickly, with Josh Boone coming aboard to write and direct. The last we heard about this project was back in May, when Josh Boone revealed that the script was completed. Today we have word that the rights to these novels have reverted back to Anne Rice, who now wants to make a TV series based on these stories.
Anne Rice revealed the news in a lengthy statement on Facebook, where the author stated that she's developing a TV pilot with her son Christopher Rice. This show will tell Lestat's story that includes scenes fans of the novels will want to see. Here's what she had to say in her Facebook statement below, revealing that Universal and Imagine's plans for a new movie "didn't work out."
"The theatrical rights to the Vampire Chronicles are once again in my hands, free and clear! 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!"
Before the movie adaptation fell apart, Jared Leto was rumored to be in contention to play Lestat, but it remains to be seen whether or not Anne Rice is interested in casting the actor as the iconic vampire. This TV project doesn't have a network home at this time, but given the massive fan base for this vampire novel series, that could change soon. The news comes just two days before the author's new novel Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles debuts on Tuesday, November 29.
Interview with the Vampire was adapted into the hit 1994 movie of the same name, starring Tom Cruise as Lestat de Lioncourt, who turns a downtrodden plantation owner named Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt) into a vampire, after Louis lost his wife. The movie grossed $105.4 million domestically and $223.6 million worldwide, from a $60 million budget. Eight years later, Queen of the Damned was adapted to the big screen, starring Aaliyah as the title character, Akasha, with Stuart Townsend playing Lestat. The movie could not replicate Interview With the Vampire's success, taking in $30.3 million domestically and $45 million worldwide, from a $35 million budget.