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Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles,’ ‘Lives of the Mayfair Witches’ Rights Land at AMC (EXCLUSIVE)

Vampire Chronicles Mayfair Witches AMC
AMC

AMC Networks has acquired the rights to Anne Rice’s best-selling book series “The Vampire Chronicles” and “The Lives of the Mayfair Witches,” Variety has learned exclusively.

AMC now holds the comprehensive rights for the much sought-after intellectual property and will develop film and television projects for its own television networks and streaming services under the AMC Studios umbrella as well as external partner licensing. Anne Rice and her son Christopher Rice will serve as executive producers on all series and films developed under the deal.

Rolin Jones, who recently signed an overall development deal with AMC Studios, will be directly involved in developing projects based on the Rice catalog for television. The deal encompasses 18 titles between the two book series, which together have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. Among the books in the two series are “Interview with the Vampire,” “Queen of the Damned,” “The Vampire Lestat,” and “The Witching Hour.”

“It’s always been my dream to see the worlds of my two biggest series united under a single roof so that filmmakers could explore the expansive and interconnected universe of my vampires and witches,” said Anne Rice. “That dream is now a reality, and the result is one of the most significant and thrilling deals of my long career.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Variety reported in December that the Rices and their team were seeking between $30-40 million for the rights in perpetuity to both book series along with a $2.5 million payment to former rights holder Warner Bros.

The Rices have been trying for years now to develop a series based on “The Vampire Chronicles” books. Anne announced in 2016 on Facebook that she had re-acquired the theatrical rights to the books with plans to develop them as a TV series. Bryan Fuller then signed on as showrunner in January 2018 but exited soon after. The project was then set up at Hulu beginning in July 2018 but ultimately did not move forward.

“There is no shortage of content in today’s competitive environment, but proven IP that has captivated millions of fans around the world is something very special and rare, and that is what Anne Rice has created,” said Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios. “These remarkable stories and characters are massive in their appeal and we are privileged to take over stewardship of these legendary works and collaborate with a talent like Rolin Jones to find ways for new generations of fans to experience these worlds.”

This will mark the first time either book series has been adapted for television but not film. “Interview with a Vampire” was adapted into a feature in 1994 starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. “Queen of the Damned” was then adapted into a film in 2002 starring Stuart Townsend and Aaliyah.

Anne Rice is a New York Times Bestselling author of over 30 novels. Her first novel, “Interview with the Vampire,” was published in 1976 and has become one of bestselling novels worldwide A New York Times Bestselling and award-winning novelist in his own right, Christopher Rice has collaborated with Anne on multiple novels. Together with his producing partner, fellow New York Times Bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, he runs the podcast and video network TDPS.

“AMC Studios is responsible for creating some of the most iconic television series of the modern era and has, at times, single-handedly defined this era we call ‘peak TV,’” added Christopher Rice. “All the members of Team Anne, including my long-term producing partner, New York Times Bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, are both thrilled and comforted to know that some of our most cherished kin, from the vampire Lestat and the witch Rowan Mayfair, to the paranormal investigators at the Order of the Talamasca and the powerful spirit Lasher, are now safely in the hands of these vastly accomplished innovators who possess both global reach and deep reservoirs of experience.”

The acquisition marks AMC’s latest investment in independently owned intellectual property, including “The Walking Dead.” The company also has a majority stake in Agatha Christie Limited through Acorn TV, which manages the IP and publishing rights to Christie’s famed mystery fiction. “The Walking Dead” franchise now includes three shows on AMC — the flagship series, “Fear the Walking Dead,” and the upcoming “Walking Dead: World Beyond.” AMC has also found success with other horror franchises, including “NOS4A2” and “The Terror.”

Anne Rice and Christopher Rice are repped by CAA, Janklow & Nesbit Associates, and attorney Christine Cuddy.