The Vampire Lestat
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|Series||The Vampire Chronicles|
|Published||1985 (Alfred A. Knopf)|
|Preceded by||Interview with the Vampire|
|Followed by||The Queen of the Damned|
The Vampire Lestat (1985) is a Vampire novel by Anne Rice, and the second in her Vampire Chronicles, following Interview with the Vampire. The story is told from the point of view of Lestat as narrator, and several events in the two books appear to contradict each other, allowing the reader to decide which version of events they believe to be accurate.
Set in the late 18th century to the late 1980s, the story follows the 200-year-long life of the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, and his rise from humble beginnings as impoverished nobility in the countryside of the Auvergne in France, to the cosmopolitan city of Paris, to become transformed by the Dark Gift into a vampire. After escaping his family and running off to Paris with his friend and confidante Nicolas de Lenfent, Lestat is kidnapped and bitten by the reclusive elder vampire Magnus, who orphans him on the night he is made. Later, his dying mother, Gabrielle, arrives to say goodbye to him, herself dying of cancer. In order to save her, Lestat transforms her into his first immortal companion. Lestat abandons Nicki for fear of causing him harm and shuns contact with his loved ones. He later turns Nicki into a vampire after Armand kidnaps him and they begin to grow apart because of Nicki's sullenness; he later commits suicide by "going into the fire," from severe depression. Armand "shows" Lestat the history of how he was made by Marius. Compelled by the idea of Marius, Lestat leaves markings carved into rock in numerous places while traveling with Gabrielle, hoping that one day, Marius will see them and find Lestat. Whilst in Egypt, abandoned by Gabrielle, Lestat sleeps in the ground after being burned by the sun,and is recovered by Marius who takes him to his secret Mediterranean island. There, Marius shares his past with him, and shows him Those Who Must Be Kept, Akasha and Enkil, who are the progenitors of all vampires. Once Marius has given his warning to Lestat not to go see them again, and leaves on a short outing, Lestat takes Nicolas's old violin and plays for the King and Queen, awakening them. Akasha feeds from Lestat as Lestat feeds from her. Then, Enkil, furious at the intrusion, attacks and nearly kills Lestat, who is saved by Marius, and then sent away.
Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat
The Vampire Lestat was adapted into a comic and released as a 12-part miniseries by Innovation Comics in 1990 and 1991. The comic, which was formally titled Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat and featured Daerick Gross and Mike Okamoto as lead artists, had a script adapted from the novel by Rice and Faye Perozich. In 1991 the entire series was published as a graphic novel by Ballantine.
Queen of the Damned
The Film "Queen of the Damned" was seen to be a critical failure, and disappointed some viewers. Rice herself has dismissed the film. On her Facebook page, any time the subject is brought up, she repeatedly comments that The Queen of the Damned film is not something she can understand or embrace, that she encouraged them not to do the film and that it hurt her to see her work "mutilated" the way it was.
Lestat: The Musical
The novel formed the basis for the short-lived 2006 Broadway show Lestat. The musical, which was composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and written by Linda Woolverton, had a pre-Broadway tryout in California in late 2005 and ran for a total of 33 previews and 39 official performances at the Palace Theater in New York.
The Vampire Lestat film
A film adaptation of The Vampire Lestat was originally planned to go right into development after the filming of Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, with a theatrical release that was said to have been marked for the late 1990s. Neil Jordan, director of Interview with the Vampire, took on the opportunity of adapting the novel. However, not only did development lead nowhere, there was much stress brought on by the project as time was limited before the novel's rights would revert to Rice. This included Lorimar Pictures folding when Warner Bros. bought them out. David Geffen, after founding his own studio, attempted to take the rights with him to produce the sequels; however, the rights remained the property of Warner Bros. Rice confirmed that the project had difficulties at the time, describing the process as "stressful" for Warner Bros., and admitting there was "no good news" regarding the possible theatrical film. She also said via her website that her material was not comprehensible among producers; this statement would only prove true nearly a decade later when the loosely based film adaptation for The Queen of the Damned was released.
As of August 2009, talks have been underway in the continuation of The Vampire Chronicles film series, with The Vampire Lestat being the next film to be focused on in the series. Robert Downey Jr. was reported to be in talks to take the role of Lestat, but he has dismissed the rumors. Film producers reportedly want to revive the film series in the wake of a string of successful vampire films including Twilight and the HBO series True Blood—and Downey Jr. was reportedly in contention to take the lead.
On May 13, 2011 Rice posted on her Facebook page saying that she had "good news, good for me, and good for my beloved Lestat. I hope soon I can say something more coherent and informative, but for now, I'm celebrating." Many of her fans believe this is an insinuation of a new adaptation of the novel.
Ron Howard's production company, Imagine Entertainment, had optioned the motion picture rights to Anne's fourth novel in her Vampire Chronicles series, The Tale of the Body Thief in early 2012. Their proposal for the film was to treat Lestat as if "audiences have not met him before." In April 2013, Rice herself announced during an interview on her son's radio show that the project had been dismissed due to an indifference between those involved. However, Rice did specifically state that the issue could be worked out someday.