what is the Paramount + series worth 30 years after the version with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise?

what is the Paramount + series worth 30 years after the version with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise?
what is the Paramount + series worth 30 years after the version with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise?

OWe believe he is definitely buried, but he always comes back from the dead. The vampire, his sharp teeth, his taste for blood and his subversiveness perpetually find a way to invade the big and small screens. So, without lying, when we heard about a new adaptation ofInterview with a Vampire… We let out a slight sigh. Anne Rice’s gothic novel had its first film adaptation, by Neil Jordan, in 1994.

The two sex symbols of the time, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, gave it this scent of sulfur and this old-fashioned charm that is still intact. Should we therefore readjust this story again? It is in this regard that we moved cautiously towards this new iteration, a series in seven episodes broadcast in October 2022 in the United States and available on Friday May 10 on Paramount+.

But where are the vampires?

It was very difficult for us to doubt. Interview with a Vampire, 2024 series version, is well worth a look. Exit, for these seven episodes, the heroes of Top Gun and of Fight Club. We find, in the role of Louis de Pointe du Lac, Jacob Anderson (Game Of ThronesBroadchurch). Her alter egoLestat de Lioncourt, appears in the guise of Sam Reid (Profession Reporter, Anonymous).

The series takes place here in 1910, still in New Orleans. Louis from Pointe du Lac is a young brothel manager, struggling with the throes of his business. He must also face the disapproval of his family, including his pious brother, with whom he maintains a sincere complicity. It is in this atmosphere, tinged with buried resentment, that vampire temptation arises.

Following the pattern of the film, the series is a first-person story by Louis, who narrates in voice-over to the journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) his approximately 145 years of existence. A life that begins where Lestat himself bursts in.

A series that assumes its purpose

We are pleasantly surprised to see the series take a step aside from the start. Abandoning (in the first episode) vampire folklore, it is first and foremost a study of human relations to which he devotes himself Interview with a Vampire. This slow narration gives time to flesh out Louis’ personality. Let the most impatient rest assured, the vampire is never far away. He is never put in the background, but is mainly there to serve as a more modern reflection on his condition, from which the series draws all its strength.

Where Neil Jordan’s film only suggested (admittedly, in broad strokes) Louis and Lestat’s homosexual relationship, the series fully embraces it. It thus assumes an aspect queer [terme parapluie qui regroupe plusieurs identités sexuelles et de genre au sein de la communauté LGBTQ +, NDLR]. It claims the expression of free sexuality and love, outside (for the time) conventions. As a result, it also makes it a mirror of the vampire’s condition.

Louis is homosexual, and what’s more, he is black. He is at the intersection of struggles. In the New Orleans of 1910, his situation amounts more or less to being a stranger, to never being one of them, to being nowhere at home. Exactly the existential questioning of every vampire: by nature immortal, he lives among men whom he is condemned to see disappear. He is never a man of his time, since he is of all times. Due to his physical condition (the taste for human blood, the fear of light), he must live a recluse and become an object of fascination, even fear and rejection.

Sam Reid, a brilliant Lestat

In this regard, Louis, despised for what he is (although accepted by the community for his social status, he is still described as a “negro”), can only see in the life of the vampire a reminiscence of the his. A life of pretense, of dissimulation, where the finery of his wealthy family cannot completely forget the rejection of society.

The intelligence of showrunner Rolin Jones is to highlight, without ever supporting it, this parallel. On the other hand, Lestat is undoubtedly the most exciting character in the story. If Jacob Anderson is not unworthy in the face of Brad Pitt’s self-destructive melancholy, we will affirm without batting an eyelid that Sam Reid totally has what it takes to make Tom Cruise forget.

The actor brings prodigious nuances to the game: sometimes cloudy, syrupy, flamboyant. Sometimes cruel, violent, manipulative. It is a Don Juan who represents for Louis the temptation of the forbidden. But he is also an overwhelming shadow, a toxic male, whom Louis hates as much as he loves. Their relationship gains credibility as an unhealthy disorder takes hold. Is Lestat hiding something?

The Claudia turning point

The seven episodes benefit enormously from letting the relationship of the two characters build over time. Behind the camera, big names like Alan Taylor (Oz, Lost, Game of Thrones) perfectly transcribe this fullness, through a sober and effective staging. It sublimates without forcing the work of the decorators and costume designers, who transcribe New Orleans of the 20th centurye century, like our present with the same credibility.

On the narrative level, there will be a little fat here and there, but let’s not shy away from our pleasure, as the couple’s comedic and dramatic incursions work wonderfully, without making the whole thing programmatic. The arrival of Claudia (Bailey Bass), the young teenager that one of them will transform into a vampire, establishes a new balance of power, a renewed energy that the series cannot do without.

From there, the series abandons the study of morals for an authentic thriller, until the final episode, where the resolution of the puzzle galvanizes the series. Even if the outcome is expected, the path taken will largely captivate.

Truth and pretense

Finally, among all these beautiful people there remains Daniel Molloy. At the time put in the shoes of a very young Christian Slater, he is here a more mature journalist, subtly played by Eric Bogosian (seen in New York Special Unit). Indeed, the series takes place several decades after the first meeting with Louis. The latter wants to tell his story again, judging their first exchange in 1973 “inconsistent” (if we were being teasing, we would see it as a hidden attack on the film, released thirty years earlier…).

Molloy, an old disillusioned journalist overwhelmed by modernity, allows himself to be engaged, not without retorting, in this fool’s game. The multiple back and forths between the two layers of fiction only say one thing: the truth always hides an element of dissimulation.

Circumspected at first, we ultimately emerge invigorated from viewing, charmed by this vampire myth taken out of its modern formalin in every respect. Without saying too much, fans of the film should, at the epilogue, find their feet. But the series leaves things unsaid and promises a season 2… which will arrive this Sunday, May 12 in the United States. And in France ? “Soon,” we are promised. The series is believed to be the first piece of the Immortal Universe, inspired by the works of Anne Rice. One thing is certain: for Interview with a Vampirewe will be there.

Available on Paramount+ on May 10.

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