Though Neil Jordan’s 1994 Anne Rice adaptation “Interview with the Vampire” feels like a distant memory now (the less said about “Queen of the Damned” the better), there may yet be some cinematic life left in the author’s “Vampire Chronicles” series. At least the folks over at Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment must think so, as the company has just optioned the rights to Rice’s fourth book focusing on the exploits of The Vampire Lestat, “The Tale of the Body Thief”.
Writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci (“Fringe”, “Star Trek”, “Transformers”) are producing the project with Imagine, while a writer named Lee Patterson hired to write the screenplay via the Imagine Reliance Writers Lab, a joint venture between Imagine and Indian production company Reliance Entertainment, which helped to fund the acquisition of the book rights under an existing partnership.
The plot of the fourth book sees a suicidal Lestat agreeing to temporarily switch bodies with a psychic man named Raglan James, only for the psychic to flee after the transfer occurs. Lestat is then forced to track the “body thief” down.
The Vampire Lestat was played by Tom Cruise in “Interview with the Vampire”, which co-starred Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst and grossed over $220 million worldwide on a $60 million budget. In “Queen of the Damned” Stuart Townsend took over the role, but the film was far less successful both critically and commercially, grossing about $45 million globally on a budget of $35 million.
So what do you think of Imagine’s attempts to revive the franchise? Any thoughts as to who should play Lestat this time around if the film gets made? Sound off in the comments!