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Universal buys rights to Anne Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles"

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Finally, the news Anne Rice fans the world over have been waiting to hear; Lestat and his vampire friends will, once again, grace the big screen.

As reported by the author on her immensely popular Facebook page, Universal Pictures has purchased the rights to “The Vampire Chronicles” including the latest novel, “Prince Lestat” to be published October 28th, 2014 for Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment.

The films will be produced by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman the same team that brought “The Transformers” and “Star-Trek – Into the Darkness” to theatres.

The deal also includes a screenplay written for “The Tale of the Body Thief” (another Vampire Chronicle) written by the author’s son, and best-selling novelist in his own right, Christopher Rice.

According to Anne Rice, “I am overjoyed that Christopher is doing the screenplay. Simply so overjoyed I can't put how I feel into words, really. And that the studio has acquired the entire series, including "Prince Lestat" and future books ---- well, this was my dream.

I have great confidence in Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins and the whole team. This is one of the happiest days I have had in a long long time.”

She goes on to say, “Christopher grew up with the Vampire Chronicles. I wrote one after another right across the hall from his bedroom.

When the third one "Queen of the Damned," hit #1 on the NYT BSL, the publisher threw a huge party in Greenwich Village, and Christopher who was 11 at the time stood up and proposed a toast to me. I never forgot that.”

The author’s fans have long lamented over the absence of movies based upon her novels and have often asked Mrs. Rice when others would be made. In fact, their persistence prompted this post from the author just last week:

“Guys, over and over again, I receive emails and posts on this page asking me to "make" a new Lestat movie or a new TV series based on "The Witching Hour" books. Often there is gentle and enthusiastic advice on how to "make" the movie or series, whom to cast, etc. Please understand, I am not a movie maker. Authors like me do not have the hundreds of millions of dollars to make, and distribute motion pictures or television series. We don't have the know-how. We don't have the connections. But most significantly we don't have the money. ----- What happens in our world is that producers or studios or networks approach us to license the rights to our books, and we are invited to sign contracts with them enabling them to "make" the movies. We seldom if ever had any meaningful control over the movie casting, writing, and ultimate production. I can no more make a movie than I can build and open a five star hotel on the Pacific coast or create a fleet of luxury ocean liners. It is simply utterly and completely beyond my means or wildest dreams. So though I love receiving your heartfelt emails on this, they only underscore for me a misunderstanding of how motion pictures and TV series are made. Also I find these emails heartbreaking. Please understand: I want to see ALL my books made into films or quality series. I always have. I love movies and television. My agents are ALWAYS open to offers from bankable producers and studies and other entities. That will always be the case. Thanks very much for your understanding.”

There have been two major motion pictures made from “The Vampire Chronicles” series; 1994’s “Interview with the Vampire” starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and “Queen of the Damned” starring Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend.

In addition to the news regarding the Universal deal, Mrs. Rice, once again, took to Facebook to let fans and followers alike know that the “Christ the Lord – Out of Egypt” movie adaptation will begin filming this fall in Italy with a preliminary release date of Easter Eve 2016.

News of the Universal acquisition has spread like a wild-fire over the internet and is currently trending on Facebook. Reaction from the author’s fans has ranged from ecstatically happy to unbridled delirium.

In fact, the only other individual who could possibly be as happy about the news besides Anne Rice and her devotees, has got to be Lestat, “The Brat Prince” himself, who has been “ready for his close-up” for more than two hundred years.

We can’t wait.

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