6:01pm PT by Rick Porter
Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles' Series Leaves Hulu
Hulu is no longer the home of a series based on Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles novels.
The show, which Hulu picked up in July 2018 after a bidding war involving multiple outlets, will now be shopped elsewhere and will continue a long saga to bring the books to TV. It may also include a larger rights package involving another Rice series, The Mayfair Witches.
The Vampire Chronicles series had previously been at Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Their rights have expired, however, meaning Rice is now free to seek a new deal. Rights to Mayfair Witches are currently held by Warner Bros. Rice is looking to package both properties for a big upfront fee that will, in exchange, give the winning bidder rights in perpetuity.
The news follows a Dec. 9 post on the Vampire Chronicles Facebook page in which Rice assured readers that "magnificently exciting things are happening behind the scenes and we are dyyyyyyyyyying to talk to you about them. But in this particular moment, we are sworn to secrecy. The minute, and I assure you, the MINUTE, we are free to discuss the latest developments, many of them the most exciting since we began work on this, we will do so, and we will do so here. This page is not dead. Like Lestat, this project will live forever."
Rice published the first Vampire Chronicles book, Interview With the Vampire, in 1976. The series has sold more than 100 million copies and is the basis for two feature films: 1994's Interview With the Vampire, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst; and 2002's Queen of the Damned.
Rice announced in a lengthy Facebook post in late 2016 that she had regained theatrical rights to the books and would develop them as a TV series: "A television series of the highest quality is now my dream for Lestat, Louis, Armand, Marius and the entire tribe," she wrote at the time.
Paramount TV and Anonymous Content optioned the books in April 2017, with Christopher Rice — Anne Rice's son and a best-selling author himself — attached to write the script. Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Hannibal) later came aboard as showrunner but exited not long after, opting to step back rather than step on the toes of Anne and Christopher Rice.
The project had remained in development at Hulu, with Dee Johnson (Nashville, ER) signing on as showrunner in February, but little other news on the show had broken since.
Disney-controlled Hulu, meanwhile, has a burgeoning roster of originals that includes The Handmaid's Tale, Castle Rock, The Act, Ramy, PEN15, Shrill, Reprisal, Dollface and the upcoming High Fidelity. Corporate sibling FX will also begin producing programming for the streamer, including the limited series Mrs. America starring Cate Blanchett, Alex Garland's Devs, the drama A Teacher and Jeff Bridges' CIA pilot The Old Man.
Variety first reported the news.