AMC seems committed to developing a vast universe built around Anne Rice’s novels, but the key for Interview with the Vampire showrunners and cast is connecting with the fans.
During a press conference for the show at San Diego Comic-Con, executive producer Mark Johnson and showrunner Rolin Jones were joined by stars Jacob Anderson (Louis), Sam Reid (Lestat), Bailey Bass (Claudia) and Eric Bogosian (Daniel), as well as production designer Mara LePere-Schloop.
Jones and Johnson hinted at developing a series that would last a long time, with "eight years" and "eight seasons" being floated conversationally throughout the presentation.
What to Watch asked the Interview with the Vampire team about developing an extended universe for the network and how it shapes the way they bring their show to life.
"We hope this is a franchise," Johnson said. "We don’t know that this is a franchise yet, but [the viewers] will tell us if it’s a franchise." He added that there’s a team in New Orleans filming the other Anne Rice series in development based on her Lives of the Mayfair Witches. "That’s a completely different world, another Anne Rice world, but there is a connection."
Game of Thrones alum Jacob Anderson, who has had some experience working within the structure of a franchise universe, feels the enormity of what they’re building. "Obviously it’s a universe," he said. "When you read Anne Rice’s novels, the connections are really rich and really exciting."
He added that he and Reid have talked at length about how the series gives them space to explore the "depth of feeling" that the vampires experience in addition to the love story between Louis and Lestat and their quest to form a family unit of their own.
Jones, who serves as the showrunner and a writer for the fledgling series, talked about AMC’s focus on both the series and a potential larger universe. "On a pragmatic level, AMC made us jump through a lot of hoops," he said. "Does the pilot give you a roadmap for [the series], and then, on top of that, does [the show] have a roadmap — or do you have a vision — for the entire [universe]? And yeah, it does."
With an eye toward developing new content for both the network audience and the AMC Plus streaming platform, it makes sense for AMC to look beyond a single series and instead focus on the creation of larger universes, much as it has done with The Walking Dead and all of its spinoffs.
If successful, it sounds like Interview with the Vampire will be the starting point for Anne Rice’s vampires to come to life. With 18 books to work with, there’s no end of source material to develop.
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Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.
When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.