Years ago, Anne Rice said that she wanted to bring her vampire novels to television. Since that time, there were some promising updates with news of an Interview with the Vampire series moving forward in 2017. Then came word that the streaming service, Hulu, would be the show’s home. Well, the vampiric drama just got some bad news.
Hulu, unfortunately, will not be moving forward with its TV adaptation of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. An expiration of rights is not what reportedly led to the decision, as Hulu simply decided to pass on it. The show had shuffled showrunners, going from Bryan Fuller to Dee Johnson. Production was set to start this fall, according to Variety, which reports Rice is now re-shopping her property.
So, hope for Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles is still alive! Rice is reportedly getting an ever more expansive TV package ready. Paramount Television and Anonymous Content’s rights to the previous package have expired. Rice’s new package includes a complete buyout of TV and film rights. It will comprise The Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches. All of it comes at a steep price tag.
The package is priced at around $30 to $40 million with a $2.5 million buyout for Warner Bros.’ rights. Mayfair Witches is currently stationed there. Whoever buys the rights (Paramount is reportedly one of several bidders) is said to get them in perpetuity as opposed to an option. That is far from a sucky proposition!
It seems that Anne Rice is incredibly hopeful about her series’ on-screen future. Over on The Vampire Chronicles’ official Facebook page, a post on December 9 points to a hint of good times ahead. It is signed by Anne Rice, her son Christopher Rice, and novelist Eric Shaw Quinn. Here is what the Rices and Quinn had to say:
To all the wonderful, loyal and steadfast supporters of this page and of this show. We realize it's been some time since we've given you an update. Please allow me to assure you that magnificently exciting things are happening behind the scenes and we are dyyyyyyyyyying to talk to you about them. But in this particular moment, we are sworn to secrecy. The minute, and I assure you, the MINUTE, we are free to discuss the latest developments, many of them the most exciting since we began work on this, we will do so, and we will do so here. This page is not dead. Like Lestat, this project will live forever. We know you thirst, and we, Lestat and all the others who share the dark gift shall satisfy that thirst very soon.
Christopher, Anne & Eric
Well, this sounds incredibly promising! Following news of Hulu passing on The Vampire Chronicles series, it certainly casts the post in a new light. Like any vampire, this project may have a chance to come back to life and arrive on viewers’ television screens at some point.
There are so many streaming services popping up that you would think a healthy competition for Anne Rice’s property package could ensue. The ambitious HBO Max is gearing up to launch next year and already has some exciting projects in the works. AppleTV+ is another possibility. It is already home to some high-profile series.
AppleTV+ has the crime thriller Truth Be Told, the Jason Momoa starrer See, and the super expensive, Jennifer Aniston-led, The Morning Show. Could Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles join them? It seems like a cool option. Horror maestro Stephen King has a series set to arrive on AppleTV+! Anne Rice could, hypothetically, follow suit!
Netflix is another theoretical home for Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. It is already home to V-Wars, a vampiric series that stars Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder, who feels it is more grounded than typical shows in the genre. Could Netflix make room for Rice’s work to join it?
Netflix already has a headline-making deal with Game of Thrones’ showrunners, among others. I think the streaming giant would also be a logical fit for Anne Rice’s work. An adaptation of her popular novels should be a streaming platform’s dream. They have an ardent fanbase already excited to watch it.
Amazon Prime Video is readying a Lord of the Rings series, so they are clearly open to the fantasy genre. I could see Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire show rising from the dead on there, as well. Of course, there is always the possibility that the series could end up on a premium cabler. It will be interesting to follow!
Interview with the Vampire got the adaptation treatment via a feature film directed by Neil Jordan back in 1994. The movie starred Tom Cruise as the vampire, Lestat, and Brad Pitt as Louis, the human that Lestat turns. A television show would give fans the chance to explore the characters on a longer-term basis.
Vampires remain a pop culture staple. Time will tell where Anne Rice’s package ends up, but for now, The Vampire Chronicles TV show is without a home. While you wait for updates on the television future of Rice’s vampire series, check out this winter’s premieres.