By Ani Bundel
The late author Anne Rice began her professional writing career in 1976 with the publication of Interview With the Vampire, a novel that became one of the seminal texts for vampire lovers and lore in the modern era. The series it spawned, The Vampire Chronicles, runs 13 books strong, with the final one coming out only a few years ago in 2018. Its popularity was such that Hollywood even made a movie in 1994, famously starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and then-child-actor Kirsten Dunst.
It’s been a quarter century since that film, and the series is ripe for a reboot, with the number of sequels Rice released in the interim, one perfect for streaming. The new series, which will come via AMC Networks and AMC+, is the first in an entire Rice streaming universe, which will also include the author’s other popular series, The Mayfair Witches.
However, since Interview is the best known and most famous of Rice’s works, the streaming service is starting with its remake of Lestat’s story. The new series stars Sam Reid (Belle) as Lestat, Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones) as Louis, Bailey Bass (The Way of the Water) as Claudia, Eric Bogosian (Uncut Gems) as Daniel Molloy, and Assad Zaman (Our Girl) as Rashid. At the Ballroom 20 panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, the series released the first trailer so fans could get an eyeful.
The panel portion of Interview With the Vampire takeover of SDCC included series creator and showrunner Rolin Jones, producer Mark Johnson, and designer Mara LePere Schloop. Castmembers Reid, Anderson, Bass, and Bogosian were also on hand.
Hosted by Damien Holbrook, the panel promised the series stays faithful to the books while also updating facets of the story to reflect the more diverse cast. Louis, for example, will be grappling with being a Black man in New Orleans in the early 1990s as part of his issues with taking Lestat up on his offer. Also, when Holbrook asked about the implied queer context, Jones answered: “It’s an aggressive, beautiful love story between two people. That is all.”
But there is one change the show will bring to the table: it’s aged up Claudia. In the novel, Claudia is eternally physically five, though her mind is a mature adult. (Rice’s story marks one of the few times vampire lore has really grappled with what it means to not age.) But Jones decided to age her up to 14, partly to make the ick factor more explicit by putting her at the edge of puberty and also conveniently sidestepping child labor laws, which for someone elementary school-aged are far stricter.)
For those looking for a series that seems to have found the line between staying faithful to the text and modernizing, the AMC show looks to be on the right track.
Interview with the Vampire is scheduled to premiere on AMC and AMC+ on October 2, 2022
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