As Long as Lestat Doesn't Sparkle: Tale of the Body Thief Inching Towards Production
There are only five novels in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, regardless of what Wikipedia or your own book shelf is telling you. The series started with the decent Interview with the Vampire of course, at which point Anne Rice realized that her main character was a really whiny proto-Edward and decided that the protagonist would from thenceforth be the far more interesting Lestat. This led to the fantastic two-parter of The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, hit a snag with the less than stellar Tale of the Body Thief, and then finished off with the magnificent mind fuck of Memnoch the Devil.
I reiterate this only to emphasize how strange Hollywood’s approach has been to the films. Interview was if anything better than the novel, while Queen of the Damned managed to destroy everything good about not one, but the next two books in the series. If they’d made Stuart Townsend sparkle, it wouldn’t have made it much worse. And yet in an age when series get rebooted every six years, instead of getting a decent version of The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, we’re getting Tale of the Body Thief adapted into film.
The good news is that the duo of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing. The bad news is that it’s Tale of the Body Thief.
Look, the book isn’t terrible, it’s just the weakest of the bunch and seems an odd one to bother adapting into a film. It does have the wonderful hook of Lestat’s contention that no human in the world would turn down the offer to become a vampire, and yet no vampire would turn down becoming human again, but it lacks the narrative strength of the previous two Lestat novels, and the philosophical gut punch of the next one.
But hey, quality is quality, and maybe this time they’ll get it right. And maybe if we’re really good, it means that we’ll get a proper adaptation of Memnoch the Devil in a few years.