Audiences can’t seem to get enough of their tawdry vampire love sagas nowadays, and while more than enough has been said about “The Twilight Saga,” there’s also “True Blood,” “Vampire Diaries,” the “Underworld” movies, and about a dozen upcoming projects chronicling these creatures of the night. Though long before Stephenie Meyers or Alan Ball sunk their teeth into vampire lore, author Anne Rice pretty much had the monopoly on all things fanged in popular culture throughout the late-‘80s and ‘90s.
Well now the fourth novel in her bestselling “The Vampire Chronicles” series, entitled “The Tale Of The Body Thief,” will bring the beloved vampire Lestat back to the silver screen. THR is reporting that Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment is optioning the rights to the 1992 novel, which would serve as the third iteration of Rice’s ‘Chronicles’ work on film, following 2002’s misguided “Queen of the Damned” and the Tom Cruise-starring blockbuster “Interview with the Vampire.” Imagine is partnering with India’s Reliance Big Entertainment to fund the project, though what’s most interesting about all this is that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who we all know as the writer-producers of “Fringe,” “Star Trek,” and the first two “Transformers” films, are also onboard to produce. The script is apparently being worked on in the Imagine Reliance Writers Lab (what?), by scribe Lee Paterson, who has apparently written a well-respected script entitled “Snatched.”
Anyways, ‘Body Thief’ will catch-up with Lestat, who is in full-on Edward Cullen mode as he wanders around lonely and depressed after years of being a member of the undead. He cuts a deal with a human psychic to swap souls for a day, only for the psychic to reveal he has no intention of returning to being a mere mortal after the swap. Lestat joins some fellow colleagues to then hunt down the psychic after he flees in an effort to return to his own body. Perhaps this will be pitched as “Freaky Friday” meets “Twilight”? What a sell.
With Kurtzman and Orci onboard, there’s a chance this could indeed be a rather interesting venture into Rice’s work, especially with the potentially thrilling premise. Although, “Queen of the Damned” left us with little more than the memory of a fine performance by the late hip-hop artist Aaliyah, so we’re not exactly pining for another Rice adaptation. We’d say the vampire market is oversaturated at the moment, but with everything from “Dark Shadows” to “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” on the way, as we said before, the genre is certainly thriving.
The project isn’t yet set up at any studio yet, and is still in development, so it may be awhile before we see Lestat roaming around to “Sympathy for the Devil” again.