The Vampire Lestat
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|Series||The Vampire Chronicles|
|Preceded by||Interview with the Vampire|
|Followed by||The Queen of the Damned|
The Vampire Lestat (1985) is a vampire novel by American writer 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 lover 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 but leaves him with a tower fortress and a vast fortune. Lestat abandons Nicki for fear of causing him harm and shuns contact with his loved ones. Instead, he decides to shower them with gifts and riches from his new found wealth, as a means to compensate his departure from their lives.
Later, his mother, Gabrielle, arrives to say goodbye to him, herself dying of consumption (tuberculosis). In order to save her, Lestat transforms her into his first immortal companion. The pair run afoul of the Children of Darkness, an ancient cult of devil-worshipping vampires led by a vampire named Armand, who attack them and kidnap Nicki to punish them for breaking vampire law. Lestat and Gabrielle rescue Nicki and, after a heated debate with Armand, Lestat causes the coven to dissolve by denouncing the old ways and encouraging the cultists to modernize. Lestat later turns Nicki into a vampire, but the transformation drives him mad, and his resentment of Lestat quickly destroys their friendship; 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.
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.
In August 2014, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment acquired the motion picture rights to the entire Vampire Chronicles series, with producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci signed to helm the potential film franchise. The deal also included a screenplay for The Tale of the Body Thief (1992) adapted by Christopher Rice. In May 2016, writer-director Josh Boone posted a photo on Instagram of the cover a script written by him and Jill Killington. Titled Interview with the Vampire, it is based on the novel of the same name and its sequel, The Vampire Lestat. However, in November 2016 Universal did not renew the contract, and the film and television rights reverted to Rice, who began developing the Vampire Chronicles into a television series with Christopher.
- Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat Ballantine Books, 1991. Rice, Anne; Perozich, Faye; Gross, Daerick; Okamoto, Mike. ISBN 0-345-37394-4
- Rice, Anne: Wall - Just Fans, Facebook.com
- Lestat at the Internet Broadway Database
- McNary, Dave (August 7, 2014). "Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles Takes Flight at Universal". Variety. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Gallagher, Brian (May 5, 2016). "Interview with the Vampire Remake Script Is Finished". MovieWeb. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- Evry, Max (May 4, 2016). "Josh Boone Revealed to be at Work on Interview with the Vampire Remake". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- Jones, Mike (May 5, 2016). "New Mutants Director Offers Interview With The Vampire Update". Screenrant.com. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- Rice, Anne (27 November 2016). "Anne Rice statement on her Official Facebook Fan Page". Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "Anne Rice Is Bringing Her Vampire Chronicles to Television". Vanity Fair. 27 November 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017.