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Robert Downey Jr In Talks To Play Lestat In Universal’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’ Reboot
Empress Eve   |  @   |  

Robert Downey JrBloody Disgusting has confirmed today that Robert Downey Jr is in close talks to play the vampire Lestat in Universal Studios’ planned reboot of the film franchise of Anne Rice‘s Vampire Chronicles.

Rice’s vampire books were previously adapted for the big screen in 1994 with Neil Jordan’s Interview With The Vampire, which starred Tom Cruise as the beautiful blond vamp Lestat (Brad Pitt played the vampire Louis), and then in 2002 with Queen of the Damn, in which Stuart Townsend took over the Lestat role.

Before the Twilight phenomenon, the books of Rice’s Vampire Chronicles were the ultimate in vampire stories next to Dracula, with Lestat being the most desirable of the undead. Fans might remember how badly Rice took the news of Cruise being cast as Lestat in Interview and severely criticized the choice (after seeing the film, she retracted her statements).

Since nabbing the lead in the first Iron Man film, Downey has seemed invincible. It’s not hard to imagine that he can pull off just about any role handed to him. But, Lestat? That just doesn’t seem to add up.

The character of Lestat de Lioncourt was an 18th century French nobleman who became a vampire at the tender age of 20. He has a youthful beauty and charm, which was only enhanced after he was turned — this is part of what makes him so charismatic.

If you today’s Downey was 20 years younger, I’d say he’d probably be able to pull this off — and do it well. But as his is now, I don’t see how it could happen.

While I don’t think an entire reboot of the franchise is necessary, since I thought Interview was a great movie and still holds up today, I am excited that more of Rice’s books will come to life. Queen of the Damned was the third book and that film was originally supposed to go direct-to-video (and that should give you an idea of the quality of that one), but was given a theatrical release only to capitalize on the sudden death of its star Aaliyah. No film was ever made for the second novel, The Vampire Lestat, the story which Lestat narrates about this life.


  1. I agree, a reboot doesn’t seem entirely necessary; the first film worked fine and stands tall today. But mostly, I’m alarmed at the time frame… Interview With A Vampire came out in 1994. Fourteen years later, we’re looking at a reboot. It’s getting a bit out of hand, don’t you think? I wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement for a District 9 reboot coming next Christmas…

    Comment by Doc Atomic — August 15, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

  2. A Vampire Lestat movie would be awesome, but I agree with Doc Atomic, it’s way to early to be considering a “reboot” of a series that wasn’t even a series to begin with.
    I enjoyed Interview but it should be left at that, the Vampire Chronicles was a rather long series, if I remember correctly, hopefully they choose a different story.

    Comment by Guy — August 16, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  3. I think if people would take the time to really watch Queen of the Damned, they’d see that it’s a great movie on many levels. It works as a rock opera, as well as a fun vampire flick. In fact, I’d go so far to say that it’s one of the best vampire movies I’ve ever seen. Robert D. Jr. is just to old.

    Comment by Christopher Moonlight @ Moonlight Art Magazine — August 16, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

  4. Just wanted to make a few corrections for you – Queen of the Damned was NEVER set to be released as a straight to DVD movie – it was ALWAYS set to be released in theaters, even before Aaliyah’s untimely passing (had nothing to do with capitalizing on her death).

    Also, the 2nd and 3rd Anne Rice books were combined to create Queen of the Damned – the movie had elements from both.

    Comment by Bashir — August 16, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

  5. Elements may have been combined, but there still isn’t a Lestat movie based only on the second book.

    And, yes, it was scheduled to go direct-to-video before she died. When she died, they rushed it into theaters.

    Comment by Empress Eve — August 16, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

  6. ^^No, it was always supposed to be in theaters, never straight to DVD! It was always planned to go to theaters from before she died….it is true that it was supposed to be released maybe in March or April of 2002, but they moved it up to February.

    So yes it was moved up, BUT It WAS ALWAYS to be released in theaters; any claim otherwise is completely false.

    Comment by Bashir — August 16, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

  7. Ouch. Downey Jr is great but an absolutely horrible choice to play the part of Lestat.

    Comment by scrotumbagmonkeyflicker — August 17, 2009 @ 3:33 am

  8. What I’d like to see is a movie version of the musical “Lestat”. It would work well if it were animated.

    Comment by Captain Karl — August 17, 2009 @ 10:21 am

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