Bryan Fuller Is at Work on a TV Pilot for Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles

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The creative mind behind Pushing Daisies, Hannibal, American Gods and a good chunk of Star Trek: Discovery is working on bringing Anne Rice’s literary vamps to the small screen.

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While it’s been reported that Fuller is turning his attention to a pilot, the studio’s hope is that he’d be involved in a Vampire Chronicles show for the long haul. Beth Elderkin at io9 saw the Fuller news in a THR interview with Paramount TV president Amy Powell:

[..] Powell was asked about the network’s much-anticipated Vampire Chronicles series, which she is calling “the Vampire Chronicles initiative.” Paramount TV optioned all 11 books last year, with Rice serving as an executive producer and her son, Christopher Rice, serving as the show’s main writer and showrunner. It looks like the show is currently in the pilot stage, but Powell noted that a very big name is now attached to the project.

“Bryan Fuller is working with Anne Rice and Chris, who are writing the pilot. We are hoping he chooses to stay on and potentially showrun,” Powell said.

With Paramount having optioned all 11 of the Chronicles there’d certainly be a lot of material, spanning many potential time-periods and places, to work with—expanding the Chronicles world beyond what most audiences know from 1994’s Interview With the Vampire. (We don’t talk about Queen of the Damned.)

After a glut of vampire-related media works in the unfortunate Twilight era, we’re seriously lacking in TV vampires at the moment. The Vampire Diaries and True Blood are both off the air, and I need to get my blood-sucking fix somewhere.

Fuller seems like the perfect person to bring Rice’s world to life. We know how well he does fantastical and supernatural—see Pushing Daisies and American Gods—and we know how well he does blood-splattered horror with Hannibal. His aesthetics are always lush and gorgeous, which I imagine Lestat de Lioncourt would approve of.

I’d also love to see Fuller draw some of the Chronicles‘ subtext into actual text, another theme that he excels at, though we don’t know if that’s in his mandate. “The homoerotic overtones of The Vampire Chronicles are also well-documented,” Wikipedia points out, but they haven’t been made explicit on-screen before.
In the past, this contributed to a fraught relationship between Rice and fans who made their own fanworks around her characters. “I do not allow fan fiction. The characters are copyrighted. It upsets me terribly to even think about fan fiction with my characters,” Rice wrote in 2000.

But since then, her stance has considerably softened. In 2012, she wrote, “I got upset about 20 years ago because I thought it would block me. However, it’s been very easy to avoid reading any, so live and let live. If I were a young writer, I’d want to own my own ideas. But maybe fan fiction is a transitional phase: whatever gets you there, gets you there.”

I was in attendance at a Rice panel at Comic Con in 2012 where she answered a question about fanfiction, saying that her mind was changed, and that while she would not read it herself, she would not object to fanworks any longer.

As for that homoeroticism, I once had an extremely productive conversation with Rice on the topic while discussing the graphic novel Interview With the Vampire: Claudia’s Story, which showed her evolving views:

io9: There’s the concept of Louis and Lestat as Claudia’s “parents,” which we see in the novel, movie and now in the graphic novel. When you know the narrative, it’s not quite the modern statement it could appear to be visually, in the adaptation. Are you okay with that as an idea for the new century?

AR: Sure! [Laughs] Sure! I never thought of it, they were the first vampire same-sex parents.

io9: That’s the way that it seems to be shown, it’s very much “she’s our daughter now.” So I can say, they’re a same-sex couple with children?

AR: Absolutely! Claudia! She’s their daughter.

Who knows where a Bryan Fuller-guided Vampire Chronicles could take us in a new era? Likely to delicious, blood-drenched places. Please make all of this happen, Paramount TV. And to Bryan Fuller: thank you for your service. Also: call me! I’ve been thinking about this for years.

(via io9, image: Warner Bros., Oribit/Yen Press)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.