Interview With the Vampire: New Series of Anne Rice Books at AMC

‘Interview With the Vampire’ Series a Go at AMC

Mark (Breaking Bad) Johnson will oversee development of the Anne Rice TV franchise for the cable network, with Rolin Jones attached as showrunner on the first show.

The cable network has handed out a series order for a scripted series based on the beloved Anne Rice title. The pickup, which follows a years-long development effort that saw the author’s iconic works jump from Hulu, Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content, comes after AMC and its in-house studio landed the rights to 18 of her titles in a May 2020 deal.AMC and its streamer, AMC+, will launch Interview With the Vampire in 2022.

Casting for the 8-episode first season has not yet begun.

Rolin Jones, who inked an overall deal with AMC shortly before the cabler landed rights to the Vampire franchise, serves as showrunner on the series.

AMC vet Mark Johnson, who has worked on Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul/El Camino, Halt and Catch Fire and Rectify, will also exec produce alongside Jones. Johnson, who has his own overall pact with AMC Studios, will be charged with overseeing the Vampire franchise as AMC plans to build a multiple-show universe as part of the Rice deal.

In 1994, Neil Jordan’s version of Interview with the Vampire, starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (in their only teaming) was a critical failure.

Interview with the Vampire

Theatrical release poster


That encompasses Interview With the VampireThe Vampire LestatThe Queen of the DamnedThe Tale of the Body ThiefMemnoch the DevilThe Vampire ArmandPandoraVittorio the VampireBlood and GoldPrince LestatPrince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis and Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince LestatThe Witching HourLasherTaltos and The Vampire Chronicles/The Lives Of The Mayfair Witches crossover novels MerrickBlackwood Farm and Blood Canticle.

The two franchises have sold more than 150 million books worldwide.

Anne and Christopher Rice will exec produce all series.

“In 1973, a grieving mother and extraordinary writer began what would become the finest vampire novel ever written (all respects to Mr. Stoker),” said Jones, who recently was showrunner on season one of HBO’s Perry Mason. “Nearly 50 years later we know what’s expected of us. We know how much this book and the ones that follow mean to their massive fan base. We feel you over our shoulders as we tend the Savage Garden. Louis and Lestat are coming out of hiding and we can’t wait to reunite them with you.”

The formal AMC series order comes 5 years after Rice regained the theatrical rights to Vampire and was planning to adapt the series for television.

Universal and Imagine Entertainment previously had the rights to the franchise. Warner Bros. previously adapted Interview With the Vampire (based on the first book in the series) into a 1994 feature starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. The 2002 pic Queen of the Damned also took inspiration from Rice’s series.

Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content optioned the rights to 11 books from The Vampire Chronicles in 2017, with Christopher Rice set to pen the scripts.

A year later, Hulu landed the series following an multiple-outlet bidding war after Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) quietly boarded and exited the series as showrunner after sources said he didn’t want to step on the toes of his longtime friends, Christopher and Anne Rice. (The Rice’s are non-writing exec producers on the AMC series.) Hulu, which had enlisted dee Johnson (Nashville, ER) as showrunner, dropped the series in late 2019. AMC, under former network head Sarah Barnett, swooped in and scored rights to both Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches last summer with the goal of turning the books into a TV franchise.

Vampire arrives as AMC is ending Better Call Saul and the flagship series in The Walking Dead universe. Both Breaking Bad and Walking Dead were turned into major franchises at the basic cable network. In today’s Peak TV world, IP continues to become more valuable as networks and streamers alike look for content with built-in fan bases that have global appeal in a bid to cut through a cluttered landscape and deliver multiple shows that help platforms stand out from the crowd (and, in some cases, draw subscription dollars).

“This is a day we have been looking forward to since we acquired this legendary Anne Rice collection,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming at AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “This story already has millions of fans in the U.S. and around the world, we can’t wait to share this new interpretation of the classic brought to life by Rolin and Mark, as we continue to work on developing the entire collection. With The Walking Dead, this Anne Rice collection and our majority stake in Agatha Christie Limited through our own Acorn TV, we are proud to have the stewardship of three unique, fan-forward and beloved franchises and universes, which we are only just beginning to explore. We are also thrilled to have Mark, a world-class producer we have previously worked with on iconic series like Breaking Bad, Rectify, Halt and Catch Fire and Better Call Saul on board at the helm of our efforts to develop an entire Anne Rice universe, with significant aspirations for these beloved stories and characters.”

The Vampire Chronicles joins AMC originals including The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead untitled Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride offshoot, Tales of the Walking Dead and Killing Eve, with the latter set to end as the cabler explores turning that series into a franchise as well. AMC recently launched Kevin Can F*** Himself and also has Ragdoll and Ultra City Smiths coming soon