Has an overabundance of vampire-centric movies and TV shows sucked all the life from bloodsuckers? Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Brian Grazer are hoping for a firm no on that one, having just grabbed the rights to every entry in horror author Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles in a rather massive deal.
Rice’s Vampire Chronicles have been bestsellers for decades and are centered on 18th century French nobleman vamp Lestat de Lioncourt. Previous film adaptations of entries in the series include Interview with the Vampire, which starred Tom Cruise as the charismatic Lestat and Brad Pitt as the unlucky soul turned by him into a creature of the night, and Queen of the Damned, a loose adaptation of Rice’s third book which starred Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend.
Universal, Imagine and Grazer’s new deal gives them access to every book in Rice’s series, including the upcoming 11th one, Prince Lestat, and any future titles. Also included in the deal is the screenplay for The Tale of the Body Thief, which Rice’s son Christopher Rice penned before the project was eventually shuttered. It’s currently unclear whether mysterious “creative issues” with that script reported a while back will continue to prevent it from being made, but if not, the studios can start moving quickly to get Rice’s books back on the big screen.
Alex Kurtzman, previously tapped alongside Chris Morgan by Universal to revitalize its classic movie monsters, and Roberto Orci, already producing The Mummy and Van Helsing with Kurtzman, have agreed to produce adaptations of Rice’s novels. No word yet with regard to which of Rice’s novels will be the first to get the big screen treatment as part of this new deal, but Interview with the Vampire, both as the first entry in The Vampire Chronicles and the one with which most audiences will already be familiar thanks to the 1994 film adaptation, seems a likely choice.