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Anne Rice's Lives Of The Mayfair Witches - What We Know So Far

Deadline recently reported that AMC Networks has greenlit the series "Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches" based on Rice's gothic-horror-fantasy book trilogy "Lives of the Mayfair Witches." The series, which received an eight-episode order, will air on AMC and its streaming platform AMC+. "Mayfair Witches" is AMC's latest small-screen adaptation of Rice's work, with "Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire" set to premiere in late 2022.

Esta Spalding ("On Becoming a God in Central Florida") is writing and executive producing "Mayfair Witches" alongside Michelle Ashford ("Masters of Sex"). Spalding will also serve as the showrunner on the upcoming series. While Rice is better known for her "Vampire Chronicles" book series which comprises 13 books written over five decades, the "Mayfair Witches" trilogy includes "The Witching Hour," "Lasher," and "Taltos" which were published in 1990, 1993, and 1994, respectively.

According to Deadline, AMC Networks acquired the rights to Rice's works in 2020 with producer Mark Johnson spearheading the development of the Anne Rice collection for both TV and AMC+ as part of an overall deal he struck with AMC Studios. Here's everything we know about "Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches" so far.

When will Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches be released?

"Mayfair Witches" is in the early stages of development. However, it's slated to debut in 2022, which seems optimistic given AMC is still playing catch up due to COVID-19-related delays on its most highly-anticipated shows. Part 2 of Season 11 of "The Walking Dead" premieres on February 20, 2022, but the release dates of the final seasons of "Killing Eve" and "Better Call Saul," and the new scripted series "Dark Winds," "Moonhaven," and "Tales of the Walking Dead" are all TBA.

According to Collider, "Interview with the Vampire" should begin filming in New Orleans in December, six months after AMC announced the series had been greenlit (via Deadline). If "Mayfair Witches" follows suit, production will begin during the dog days of summer in 2022. Ideally, "Interview with the Vampire" will ignite interest in AMC's future Anne Rice projects. "2022 will be the biggest year for original programming in the history of our company, and we are literally over the moon that it will now include the first two series in an expanding Anne Rice universe built around stories and characters that have captivated millions of fans around the world," said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks (via Deadline).

However, with a six month lag time between the two small-screen adaptations, "Lives of the Mayfair Witches" may attempt to scoop up crestfallen fans of "A Discovery of Witches," which begins airing its final season in January 2022, rather than piggybacking off the anticipated success of "Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire."

Who is in the cast of Wayfair Witches?

There's no word on who will star in "Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches." Casting should be underway soon to find the book series' central character, Dr. Rowan Mayfair, a descendant of a long line of witches. "The world of witches has fascinated and terrified for centuries, and yet Anne Rice's particular lens on witches explored something new altogether — women who are powerful, and often brutal, and always committed to subverting our current power structures," Spalding and Ashford said (via Deadline).

The book "Lives of Mayfair Witches" tells the story of a matriarchal family spanning four centuries, so expect a strong female ensemble. There's also the book's hero, Michael Curry, and the evil spirit Lasher who yields considerable power over the familial coven. The most iconic adaptation of Anne Rice's work, 1994's "Interview With a Vampire," made stars out of Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and then-child-actor Kirsten Dunst, so whoever does get cast in the series could experience a major career boost. We'll keep you updated on casting news as it becomes available.

What is the plot of Wayfair Witches?

"Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches" revolves around Dr. Rowan Mayfair "an intuitive young neurosurgeon who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches," according to Deadline. "As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations." So, your classic fish-out-of-water plot with a supernatural twist. Magical hijinks are likely to ensue but not in a good "Bewitched" kind of way. The book it is based on was published in 1990, so there may be some tweaks to modernize the tale.

In 1990, Susan Ferraro of The New York Times wrote an in-depth review of the first book, including an interview with Rice, who had lofty ambitions for her "Gothic epic." The writer told the publication she wanted "The Witching Hour" to be "as great or greater" than the Henry James classic "The Turn of the Screw."

An eight-episode order gives the series the opportunity to find its footing and, unlike a feature film, let events slowly unravel at a pace better suited to Rice's attention to detail. The timing couldn't be better to explore Rice's brand of taboo storytelling thanks to shows like "True Blood" and "American Horror Story," which have paved the way for the mature themes that are synonymous with Rice's extensive body of work. Audiences have come to crave a degree of shock and awe on the small screen that might have been impossible to pull off just a few decades ago.