Looks like another one of Anne Rice‘s vampire tales will be making its way to the big screen.
Imagine Entertainment has optioned the rights to Rice’s The Tale of the Body Thief, the fourth novel in the author’s popular Vampire Chronicles book series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the writing/producing duo behind 2009’s Star Trek and the Transformers films, will produce the project along with Imagine, the company run by producer Brian Grazer and and filmmaker Ron Howard. Lee Patterson will be working on the screenplay.
According to THR, Body Thief is in development, but is not yet attached to a studio.
The Tale of the Body Thief will be the third venture onto the big screen for Rice’s vampire series, which spawned the ultimate blood-sucking character, Lestat. In 1994, Tom Cruise played Lestat in Interview With the Vampire, which also starred Brad Pitt, while Stuart Townsend portrayed the charismatic vamp in 2002’s Queen of the Damned, the film singer Aaliyah was working on before she died in an accident. Though Cruise initially faced some criticism — Rice herself spoke out against the casting — for being cast as a character who, at that time, was considered the second most famous vampire next to Dracula (remember, this was the pre-Twilight era), his on-screen portrayal eventually won the public and Rice over, and the film was a success. It’s lower-quality follow-up, Queen of the Damned, which was actually the third book in the series, was not treated as kindly.
1992’s Body Thief veers away from the typical Vampire Chronicles formula by making the centuries’-old Lestat depressed and tired of his vampire lifestyle, looking for a change. A change is just what Lestat gets when he’s offered the chance to temporarily switch bodies with the human psychic Raglan James, who unbeknownst to vampire, has no intention of switching back.
Sandwiched between the very well-received Queen of the Damned novel, and the beloved Memnoch the Devil, Body Thief never received the love that the other books of the Vampire Chronicles did, most likely because Lestat spends much of the story in another body — a human body at that — which will be an interesting challenge for the filmmakers. They’ll be tasked with casting the vampire Lestat — a feat that’s proven to be a difficult one in previous adaptations — as well as that of the title character, who Lestat will have to inhabit for most of the movie. With the group of producers on this adaptation, I have a lot faith in this movie, and totally look forward to following its development and production, as this book is a favorite of mine.