Anne Rice has been writing queer characters for a long time. Published in 1976, many say the subtext of Interview with the Vampire tells the story of a same-sex couple in an abusive relationship. As her stories progressed, they only got more explicitly LGBTQ+. Nearly the entire community has been represented at some point in The Vampire Chronicles. The first book saw a delightfully faithful rendition come to the big screen in 1994, which is hardly a surprise since Rice wrote the screenplay herself. Now, almost three decades later, Interview with the Vampire will see a new television adaptation.
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What is Interview with the Vampire?
If you are unfamiliar with the story, Anne Rice’s novel tells the story of Louis de Pointe du Lac. Louis recounts his life story to a reporter, revealing that he has been a vampire since 1791. Turned by the enigmatic vampire, Lestat de Lioncourt, the pair become immortal companions. Their relationship turns sour and, in an attempt to salvage what they had, Lestat turns a five-year-old girl into a daughter for them. As you can imagine, chaos ensues. I promise those are merely the footnotes. There is much more to chew on with this book and The Vampire Chronicles as a series. They are well worth the read if decades of the impeccable world and character building are something you’re into.
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A Faithful Adaptation
If a 13-book series (21 if you count crossovers and spin-offs) seems a bit daunting to take on, the movie is a great place to start. With an a-list cast and incredible performances from Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and a ten-year-old Kirsten Dunst, if you can believe it. The film received two Oscar nominations, one for Best Art Direction and the other for Best Original Score. Additionally, Kirsten Dunst was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her captivating role as Claudia in the film. While the film was criticized for excluding some of the queer subtexts, it accurately captures the essence of the characters. In the end, it is mostly faithful to the source material as it was in 1976. Put simply, this movie is unmissable.
How Will This Show Compare?
The series appears to deviate from the books much more than the film in other ways. Most notably, Louis’ story starts in 1910 — almost 120 years after it begins in the books. This will no doubt shift the themes explored in the book and alter the story. Additionally, based on the trailer, the film will be much gayer than the movie and, indeed, the first book. This appears to be a conscious decision to embrace the characters’ true nature. Although Rice died last December, she and her son Christopher are credited as Executive producers of the show. One would hope this means that the show will be a sincere retelling of a story almost half a century old despite some of these changes.
Despite, and in many ways because of, these changes, we are very excited to see this story play out when the series premieres on AMC+ in October. As source material fans, we cannot help but be excited to see the characters come to life.
“Chafing at the limitations of life as a Black man in 1900s New Orleans, Louis finds it impossible to resist the rakish Lestat de Lioncourt’s offer of the ultimate escape: joining him as his vampire companion,” reads the show’s official description reads. “But Louis’s intoxicating new powers come with a violent price, and the introduction of Lestat’s newest fledgling, the child vampire Claudia, soon sets them on a decades-long path of revenge and atonement.”