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Was Anne Rice Involved In The Interview With The Vampire Series Before Her Death?

On December 11, 2021, acclaimed, bestselling writer Anne Rice passed away at the age of 80. Long hailed as a leading horror author, Rice possessed a fertile imagination that went far beyond mere frights and terror. During her prolific career as a novelist, she explored the supernatural, historical drama, spirituality, and even erotica to dazzling effect. She used her writing voice to imbue many charismatic characters with passion, pain, the search for knowledge, and the possibilities of what it could mean to live for all of eternity. Over the course of 45 years of published writing, her first novel — "Interview with the Vampire" — is also considered her most influential. The book was told from the point-of-view of Louis de Pointe du Lac, a nearly 200-year-old vampire who tells a reporter about his time with vampire Lestat de Lioncourt in the eighteenth century.

1994's film adaptation of "Interview with the Vampire" became a box-office hit upon its release. Unfortunately, this did not mark the start of a film series adapting all of Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles" series of books. Only one standalone follow-up movie was released — 2002's "Queen of the Damned," which was a commercial and critical failure. But things started looking up in the summer of 2021 when it was announced that AMC would bring "Interview with the Vampire" to the small screen. With the show set to premiere on October 2, 2022, one has to wonder if Anne Rice was involved with the series before her death.

Anne Rice sold AMC the rights to The Vampire Chronicles and other titles

In 2016, Anne Rice shared on her Facebook account that she had won back the screen rights to her "Vampire Chronicles." According to her official website, she was approached by AMC and eventually sold the filming rights to this series and her "Lives of the Mayfair Witches" novels to the network in 2020. In this new adaptation, her son Christopher Rice (also a novelist) signed on to executive produce the new show along with his mother before she passed away. Rice's involvement in the show beyond producing is not known, but it was revealed in 2018 that Christopher Rice had written a pilot episode for the show. This, however, took place during a since-canceled Paramount Television acquisition before AMC stepped up in 2020 (per Bloody Disgusting).

But there are also big changes the "Interview with the Vampire" series makes from the book, and this includes ditching Rice's 2018 script. The upcoming AMC version will be a reimagining of the novel and 1994 film, with an early 20th-century New Orleans taking the place of the 18th-century setting. The author was not pleased with many aspects of the 1994 movie or its 2002 sequel, many of which involved changes to her characters and certain plotlines being omitted or reimagined. We will never know her feelings regarding the adjustments to the new program, but the writer's willingness to serve as an executive producer and her decision to sell the franchise suggests that she trusted AMC.