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Anne Rice's 'Tale of the Body Thief' In Development With Imagine, Kurtzman/Orci

Imagine used its partnership with India's Reliance Big Entertainment to fund the acquisition, and it is using the Imagine Reliance Writers Lab to work on the script.

Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice Cover - P 2012

The vampire Lestat could be heading back to the big-screen.

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment has optioned the rights to Anne Rice’s The Tale of the Body Thief, the fourth book in Rice’s best-selling series The Vampire Chronicles.

Lestat was first portrayed by Tom Cruise in 1994’s Interview With the Vampire, which was made by Warner Bros. and directed by Neil Jordan. The movie also starred Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Kirsten Dunst.

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In 2002, Warners released Queen of the Damned, a big-screen translation of the third book in the Rice series that starred R&B singer Aaliyah.

Imagine used its partnership with India's Reliance Big Entertainment to fund the acquisition of Body Thief, and it is using the Imagine Reliance Writers Lab to work on the script. Lee Patterson, who wrote a well-regarded screenplay titled Snatched, is working on Body Thief.

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Producing with Imagine are Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the writer-producers behind TV’s Fringe and the Star Trek and Transformers movies.

Karen Kehala-Sherwood, the Imagine exec who oversees the lab, and the company’s Erica Huggins are exec producing.

The hook of the Body Thief is that the story concerns body-switching. Lestat, depressed and lonely after centuries as a vampire, decides to transfer souls for a day with a psychic, who after the transfer reveals that he has no intention of switching back. Lestat, now in a human body and with the help of some friends, must track down the man and get his body back.

The project is in development and not set up at a studio.

E-mail: Borys.Kit@thr.com

Twitter: @Borys_Kit