A vampire from a beloved horror film is about to get his very own show, and don’t worry, he’s not the sparkly one. Hulu has picked up Anne Rice’s seminal novel series The Vampire Chronicles for small screen adaptation, a project that’s been years in the making.
Back in November 2016, Rice announced that the theatrical rights for The Vampire Chronicles were back in her possession and said she was excited about turning it into a show in this “new Golden Age of television”. The show is now officially in development with Rice serving as executive producer.
The upcoming Hulu show will focus on Lestat de Lioncourt, according to Deadline. Lestat was the seductive, aristocratic vampire (played by Tom Cruise) who is the companion of younger vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (played by Brad Pitt) in the cult classic Interview with the Vampire. The film had undeniably homoerotic overtones, but while Anne Rice was coy about confirming whether or not Lestat and Louis were lovers, she did confirm that Lestat was bisexual and that he has taken male lovers.
Those details haven’t gone unnoticed. LGBT scholars have long seen a parallel between vampirism and queerness, describing them both as conditions seen by the status quo as equally repulsive and alluring. Anne Rice has encouraged this interpretation of her work and says she personally transcends gender labels. This rejection of gender norms and categorial sexual identity is a deep focus in Rice’s work. Her son Christopher, who’s also serving as an executive producer and writer on the show, is openly gay.
As a result, Interview with a Vampire has been something of a quiet trailblazer for queerness in horror media. And although it’s often credited with creating the trope of the sexy vampire, Rice also emphasized the anguish that comes with being one of the undead. The vampires in her stories don’t “live forever”. They simply can’t die, and the prospect of a ceaseless existence fills them with anxiety and existential angst.
Sexy existential angst. Sounds like the perfect story for 2018.