The network behind “The Walking Dead” and supernatural horror drama “NOS4A2” just got a lot scarier.
AMC announced Thursday that it has greenlit “Interview With the Vampire,” a series based on author Anne Rice’s 1976 debut novel, which is part of the book series “The Vampire Chronicles.”
The first eight-episode season is expected to premiere next year on both the AMC network and AMC+.
Last year, AMC landed the rights to the 18 titles in Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” and “Lives of the Mayfair Witches” series as part of a deal with the author and her son, Christopher Rice, both of whom will serve as non-writing executive producers.
AMC plans to build a multi-show universe around the Rice books. The acquisition may shape up to be a fruitful one — the pair of book series has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.
“Interview” centers on Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells his life story to a reporter simply referred to as “the boy.” In 1791, Louis meets a vampire named Lestat de Lioncourt, who in turn transforms him into a vampire. Throughout the novel, the immortal Louis comes to terms with his new vampire self, but he still expresses repulsion toward Lestat and his lack of compassion for the humans upon which he preys.
Rice composed the novel shortly after the death of her daughter Michelle, who served as an inspiration for the child-vampire Claudia in the novel.
Mark Johnson, the prolific producer behind “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” will serve as executive producer alongside Rolin Jones — the mastermind behind “Perry Mason” and “Friday Night Lights” who will also serve as the creator and showrunner.
“The challenge of adapting for television the groundbreaking and immensely compelling work of Anne Rice is both intimidating and exhilarating,” said Johnson in a statement Thursday. “Having previously produced films from such singular works, I recognize both the responsibility and the obligation we owe the material. I strongly believe that with AMC and Rolin Jones we are equipped to meet this challenge and to thrill and entertain both the loyal Anne Rice fan and the viewer who is just now discovering her work.”
The novel was adapted into a 1994 film starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas. The 2002 film “Queen of the Damned,” starring the late singer Aaliyah, also took inspiration from the novel.
Universal also planned yet another adaptation of “Interview” in 2016 from Josh Boone, the director behind “Fault in Our Stars.” However, plans for that fell through.
In 2017, Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content optioned rights to 11 books from “The Vampire Chronicles.” In 2018, Hulu then landed the series but dropped it a year later. That left AMC with a perfect opportunity to score rights to both that series and “Lives of the Mayfair Witches” and adapt them for television.
“This is a day we have been looking forward to since we acquired this legendary Anne Rice collection a little more than a year ago,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming at AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “This story already has millions of fans in the U.S. and around the world, we can’t wait to share this new interpretation of the classic brought to life by Rolin and Mark, as we continue to work on developing the entire collection.”