Rice’s Vampire Chronicles Reboot with RDJ

Vampire ChroniclesI am *this close* to jumping out of my chair and running around the office telling everyone this news. Yes, I’m that excited. And why wouldn’t I be when we’re talking about some of my favourite things in the world: Anne Rice, vampires and Robert Downey Jr.?

The good people (very, very good people) at Bloody Disgusting have confirmed a scoop that Universal is planning on rebooting the long dormant and badly ended Vampire Chronicles.

The first film adaptation of Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” came in 1994 when Neil Jordan directed Interview with the Vampire with Tom Cruise as the free wheeling, troublemaking Lestat de Lioncourt and Brad Pitt as Louis, his too-human partner. That film was a huge success thanks in part to the cast and the director but the follow up, an adaptation of my favourite novel in the series, was a disaster.

Michael Rymer’s 2002 film Queen of the Damned was a huge disappointment. Stuart Townsend simply couldn’t hold his own in the role of Lestat and though Aaliyah did her best in the role of Akasha, the film’s titular Queen, the film was an unfocused, nearly unwatchable disaster which metaphorically put the last nail in the coffin of Vampire Chronicles adaptations until, apparently, now.

It’s not surprising that Universal is looking at rebooting the franchise. With the popularity of vampires in films, television, books and permeating through culture the time to restart the franchise is in today’s culture but it’s not really clear how this will play out. With news that Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to take on the role of Lestat, I could see them returning to “The Vampire Lestat”, the novel previous to “Queen of the Damned”. This would also make the most sense since the later novels are more concerned with religion and salvation, something which may not sit well with general audiences. But perhaps they’ll simply create new stories in the universe. At the moment, it’s all very vague.

And then there is the question of where Anne Rice fits into the equation, if at all. She has, over the recent years, shied away from her vampires and re-discovered her religious roots; a trip which has resulted in a number of religiously based novels. I think it’s safe to assume she will not be involved in the adaptation process though it would be fantastic if did return.

Many questions, much to ponder but much to be happy about. Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have some running to do.

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Michael W. May

I await the submission of the court order by Anne to try to hold it up indefinitely and make it more trouble than it is worth. It sounds like something latter day Anne Rice would do.

I also cannot get to excited about this, both due to my general belief that reboots and remakes are evil until proven otherwise and the depth of the characters of each book will not translate well by anyone.

On the hand, DIE TWILIGHT DIE 😀

I would rather see them tackle The Mayfair Witches. The first two books, at least, would make for good screen entertainment.

Shannon the Movie Mo

RDJ as Lestat ? Wow – that I have to see. There has been tons of love for him since Iron Man, will be interesting to see what his fans think of it.

This sounds pretty awesome to me!


She is the creator but I'm still not sure about RDJ. That said, the fact she even commented on it in a positive light comes as a bit of a surprise to me.

And I didn't get the sense that they intend to remake the already made films but rather to reboot the series. They still have at least 2 good books to work with that feature Lestat prominently. Admittedly, I'd love to see them leave Lestat in the background and work on either Armand or Pandora's stories but that's wishful thinking on my part.

And the more I think about it, the more I agree with Michael – someone should really take on the Mayfair saga. Lots of good material in there.


I agree Queen of the Damned killed future films of the books, they basically combined 'the vampire Lestat' & 'Queen of the Damned' cut 70% or more off the story line & characters (no twins) had Marius make Lestat (what ever happened to Magnus hmm) all they had to do was stick with the story line & it would have blown Interview of the water big time, how come both books are much longer than Interview but some how the film was shorter.. Anyway I hope they make them all into films & do them justice, simple read the books first.. Dont know about RDJ playing Lestat, I feel they should bring back as much of the cast from Interview as possible as they all havnt really aged.. Also Marius's 'Blood & Gold' and 'The Vampire Armand' would also make fantastic films as long as they stick to the story lines. Anne goes into so much detail that it should be easy of any film maker worth there salt to make.. I could go on here for ages but I would really love to see 'The Tale Of The Body Theif' one of my favs.. 😀


i really don't see rdj as lestat.i see chace crawdord as lestat(that's my choice of actor to play lestat)

dennis gitlin

How about Johnny Depp as Lestat

Andrew James

Johnny Depp is losing steam with me quickly. Enough with the Pirates and Tim Burton movies. Make something worthwhile please. Secret Garden was a disaster.

As Lestat? Maybe Clive Owen? Or they should go with someone sort of unconventional. Luke Wilson, Chris Evans – Sean Penn is a little old, but that might be cool too. I bet he would kick ass in a role like that.

Kurt Halfyard

Uh, Johnny Depp was pretty awesome in PUBLIC ENEMIES, he was great in his Dr. Parnassus cameo as well.

Andrew James

Both pretty mediocre movies (at best). His roles are so over the top these days. Jack Sparrow, Sweeny Todd, Willy Wonka, Mad Hatter. The Libertine and Secret Window were atrocious. I liked Finding Neverland alright but he hasn't done a really good movie since Blow or Chocolat almost ten years ago.

I'm not saying he's a bad actor (far from it!), but I'm saying he's not a draw for me anymore in which I will blindly go see anything he's in. I don't like the cartoon characters he chooses to play anymore. Though I do look forward to The Rum Diary later this year.

Kurt Halfyard

Some Lestat choices that might be cool:

Matthew Goode, Mads Mikkelson, Patrick Wilson, Ben Foster, or the both popular and yet still unconventional choice, Christoph Waltz, heck, I bet his Inglourious co-star and fellow gestapo goon August Diehl would be pretty awesome as Lestat. Nah, fuck it, just cast Paul Bettany and get it over with, he is clearly the most obvious choice here.

Choices for Louis – much tougher to cast, perhaps Cillian Murphy or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jason Schwartzman or even Christian McKay. Actually, here is the best choice: Martin Compston.

Still, if you wanted this to play as a strange form of awkwardness, how about Daniel Bruhl as Lestat and Michael Cera as Loius? Chloe Moretz as Claudia, naturally, as she will already have cut her fangs on the Let The Right One In remake.

Andrew James

Oh I like the Ben Foster idea. Also Jason Patric might be an interesting choice. He has experience in this realm!


depp's upcoming THE TOURIST looks to return him to his more subdued roots.


How about Jason Lewis as Lestat. And Brandon Routh as Louis. Even Madonna or Michelle Pfieffer to portray as Gabriella, if they make sequels. I can see Angelina Jolie or Patricia Velasquez as Akasha. But I can't imagine Robert Downey Jr as him. Maybe as Santino or Magnus.