As All Hallows' Eve nears and our thoughts turn to things that go bump in the night, there's one person whose love of vampire legends and lore runs deep in the family — best-selling horror author and nosferatu historian, Dacre Stoker (Dracula: The Un-Dead). Along with his own take on the vampire genre, he's also looking forward to taking a bite out of Anne Rice's bloodsucker saga, too.
If that name rings a bell, you're obviously drawn to the magnetic gaze of the King of Vampires as Stoker is the great-grandnephew of legendary Dracula author Bram Stoker. Dacre's name has been on the lips of bibliophiles this past week as Dracul, his compelling and creepy new Dracula prequel novel co-written with J. D. Barker (The Fourth Monkey) just hit the shelves on Oct. 2.
SYFY WIRE got to chat with Dacre about the upcoming small screen adaptation of Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, which has been set up and given a green light on Hulu (The Handmaid's Tale). Rice recently regained the theatrical rights to Interview With a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat and plans on leading the TV project with her son, Christopher Rice, at the popular streaming service.
The 10-book The Vampire Chronicles series follows the life and times of charismatic vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, who acts as the books' hero, antihero, monster, and narrator. Anne and Christopher are attached to executive produce the ambitious series with David Kanter and Steve Golin. Christopher has written the original script and recently revealed its cover with the title "The Vampire Lestat" and the pilot episode title, “Wolf Killer.”
We asked Stoker and Barker about this upcoming offering from Anne and Christopher Rice and learned what the epic vampire series has meant to them as writers, memories of Tom Cruise's Interview With A Vampire from 1994, and what they're hoping for as The Vampire Chronicles takes shape and eventually airs potentially sometime late next year.
"I'm very excited," Dacre told SYFY WIRE. "In my world, Stephen King is obviously the man and he's put his two feet into the vampire world with Salem's Lot, which was amazing at the time. And Anne Rice is second for me, because what they did in the '70s and beyond is to confirm what horror writers as strong as these guys can bring to this genre. Interview With A Vampire opened the doors up to a new type of vampire, a sort of vampire with a conscience. And it had big stars in Cruise and Brad Pitt and others so if she can get that amount of attention, then it brings even more attention to the vampire world. Zombies have had the upper hand for a while but now let's vampires get some focus. I want to thank Anne Rice for leading the charge and if J.D. and I can be not too far behind, we'll be real happy."
Barker has similar sentiments and claims that 1976's Interview With A Vampire is one of his all-time favorite novels that still elicits powerful fears and emotions. He's absolutely looking forward to seeing a long-form adaptation from Rice and her son.
"The first three books are amazing, but that particular novel, the way it is written and the way the story unfolds, it's a complete work of art from start to finish," Barker shared. "I'll be all over it when it actually comes out on Hulu. That stuff is like popcorn to me, so the more I can get, the better. I'm just glad that something like that is coming back to TV from that world and we're getting away from some of the vampire stuff that's happened over the last decade or so. Kind of taking it back to where it all started.
"Vampires are scary, they're monsters in their own way. In Anne Rice's universe the fact that they're attractive monsters makes them even more frightening. In the real world, the more colorful the snake is, the more poisonous they are. And that's how I think of Anne Rice's vampires. They blend. They're right there with the rest of us. The scariest monster can be standing right next to you in line for all you know."