For those of you that might not know, Interview With the Vampire author Anne Rice and her son Christopher have been developing a television series based on Mama Rice's The Vampire Chronicles collection of vampire-centric novels for a long time now. Hell, at one point, Hannibal and American Gods showrunner Bryan Fuller was involved, and all seemed good to go, but in what appears to be a growing trend with Fuller, he left the production last year. Dee Johnson (Nashville) has since taken over. But again, all seems good to go now as the show is finally pulling itself out of the grave and back into the world via Hulu. And today we have word that the series will begin shooting in Budapest this September.
Mama Rice and Son are executive producing this new version of The Vampire Chronicles, which has already been adapted in the past, once for the big screen with the most famous version being director Neil Jordan's adaptation of Interview With the Vampire. That adaptation was a big hit when it was released in November 1994, and it's not hard to see why considering it boasts a cast that includes Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst - to name a few. Jordan's Interview With the Vampire received Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Original Score, and a very young Kirsten Dunst was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes for her role.
A bit lesser known, however, is director Michael Rymer's adaptation of Queen of the Damned. Released in February of 2002, the movie starred pop-star Aaliyah as the vampire queen Akasha, and Stuart Townsend took over the role of the vampire Lestat, which Tom Cruise played in Jordan's Interview With the Vampire. Needless to say, Townsend had a thankless job there, and the film was hit with overwhelmingly negative reviews back when it was first unleashed. Things haven't gotten much better for the movie since then either, by the way. In fact, Rymer's adaptation of Queen of the Damned currently holds a 17% "rotten" rating of at Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's consensus slamming the movie as "A muddled and campy MTV-styled vampire movie with lots of eye candy and bad accents." I can't argue.
The Vampire Chronicles series of novels from Anne Rice includes not only Interview with the Vampire and The Queen of the Damned but 11 other books. These other titles include The Vampire Lestat, The Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch the Devil, The Vampire Armand, Merrick, Blood and Gold, Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, and Prince Lestat. But it doesn't stop there as the series also includes an awesome-sounding addition called Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, and the most recent addition to the Chronicles being last year's Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat.
Rice has announced in the past that she intends the upcoming Hulu series to kick off with an adaptation of her novel The Vampire Lestat, but we'll see if that happens. And since I'm sure you're all wondering, there is currently no word on if any of the original Interview With the Vampire stars are slated to return for this version. But don't hold your breath for that kind of announcement. Stars such as Cruise and Pitt have only become brighter since 1994. Maybe Banderas will return. Slater might be a possibility as well. We'll see about that. This news was first reported by Discussing Film over on Twitter.