Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, who? The cast of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire took over Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con on Saturday to share the first official teaser for the AMC series that’s set to bow October 20. Check out the footage above and the key art poster below.
Damian Holbrook, who moderated the panel with its cast and crew, announced that the series will premiere Sunday October 2, on AMC — right after the first of The Walking Dead’s final batch of episodes.
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Based on Anne Rice’s Revolutionary Gothic Novel, Interview with the Vampire follows Louis de Pointe du Lac (game of Thrones‘ Jacob Anderson), Lestat de Lioncourt (Belle‘s Sam Reid) and Claudia’s (newcomer Bailey Bass) and their epic story of love, blood and the perils of immortality, as told to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). Chafing at the limitations of life as a Black man in 1900s New Orleans, Louis finds it impossible to resist the rakish Lestat’s offer of the ultimate escape: joining him as his vampire companion. But Louis’ intoxicating new powers come with a violent price, and the introduction of Lestat’s newest fledgling, the child vampire Claudia, soon sets them on a decades-long path of revenge and atonement.
The panelists included executive producer Matt Johnson; writer and showrunner Rolin Jones; stars Reid, Bass, Anderson and Bogosian; and production designer Mara LePere-Schloop.
In the trailer that opened the panel, Louis and Lestat meet for the first time. We also see Claudia and how she comes to be a part of this massive story. There’s plenty of blood and guts with a seductive allure that Rice, who died last year, tended to capture in her books. The show will play up the queer elements, particularly between Louis and Lestat.
After the trailer, Johnson discussed why he got involved with the show. “The books are so fun, and so different, it’s hard to believe they are connected in that way. [Rice] is a stylistic, and thematic writer, and it’s a privilege to be involved. The Anne Rice world is going to go on for some time on AMC.”
Asked about the vision of the show, Jones reiterated that he wanted to stay as true to the material as possible. “Our vision had a lot of things to consider,” he said. “The advantage is that we are on television, whereas the movie had to sprint because it only had two hours. We’ve taken so much of Anne’s writing and used it for the show.”
Holbrook didn’t hold back when asking about the queer context of the story, and Jones’ answer was short and sweet: “It’s an aggressive, beautiful love story between two people. That’s all.”
Actors Anderson and Reid chatted about how they feel being a part of Rice’s legacy.
“I watched the movie when I was a teen,” said Anderson. “As soon as I got the email about the audition, I got this weird feeling in my stomach. … I am excited to be a part of this world as I deeply connected with Louis.”
Reid chimed in: “I am a huge fan of the books, so when I heard this show was being made, I prayed for an audition. Then I got the part, and I felt the pressure that comes with the opportunity to portray a character I have a deep love for. It’s the greatest gift.”
Bass discussed the experience of playing Claudia at different phases of her life. “This is a dream role,” she said. “As an actor being able to do these incredible action sequences in the script had my eyes glued to the page. Claudia is a big character who feels so much by being trapped in that body, and we get the chance to see who Claudia is at various ages.”
Bogosian, who plays an older version of Daniel Malloy, said his character is looking for a chance to revive his career. “In the movie, he’s a young novice journalist. Now he’s older, wiser and taking a crack at Louis once more to get the truth.”
Production designer LePere-Schloop talked about being able to capture New Orleans in all its glory. “When I first heard about this show, there was so much pressure. The books are rich with detail and an essence that exists only in New Orleans. I was overwhelmed and excited to figure out how we would shape this. It’s rare we get a show that celebrates the city we live in.”
As for Easter eggs, Jones said: “If you’ve read Prince Lestat, The Vampire Armand and Interview with the Vampire, you’ll see lots of nodes to the material. We’re trying to build a universe, and there is some witchery thrown in there as well.”
The panel ended with an exclusive clip from the first episode where Louis and Lestat meet at a local brothel. Louis, being his brooding self, is upset that Lestat is talking to the same sex worker he fancies. There is a lot of sexual tension between the two of them, and it is a well-acted scene. This Louis and Lestat are very different from the 1994 movie version, so be on the lookout for that.
The first seven episodes of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire premiere this year on AMC and AMC+. Alan Taylor will direct the first two episodes and executive produce the series.