I 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.