Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles were huge. They sold millions of books, sent goths into the closest thing they ever get to ecstasy and gave self-harming teenage girls something to obsess over before Edward and the Twilight sparkly vampires came along.
The 1994 movie starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt was also a smash hit and a franchise seemed inevitable. However it was not to be. It lurched from distribution channel to channel, with disastrous sequels and adaptions eventually killing it in visual form.
Now somebody else is having a try. Perhaps with the end of The Walking Dead in sight AMC want another big show featuring things from behind the grave? Under their AMC Networks banner they have entered into an agreement to acquire Anne Rice’s major literary works including The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches.
It’s a wide ranging deal covering 18 titles including the famous ones like Interview With The Vampire, The Queen of the Damned and The Witching Hour.
AMC Networks will also be allowed to create original content based on the IP. This allows them to adapt and adopt, and extend, as they did with The Walking Dead. Rice and her son Christopher Rice executive producers on the whole universe. Rolin Jones (Perry Mason) will run the development.
Despite carrying debt and having income plummet due to COVID19 the AMC share price has flown high in recent days due to a rumor in the British press that Amazon is about to make a play for the cinema chain part of their operations.
While there is no comment from wider party so far, nobody could figure out why Amazon would want theatre chains. Then the possibility was raised that Amazon May in fact be after the entire company, not just the theatre network.
AMC Networks has been a potential takeover target for years as it is part of a wider business yet it has good cash flow and IP to itself. They also have a wide range of boutique streamers that would add to Amazon’s Prime Video portfolio significantly. Acorn, Shudder, Sundance Now, UMC, and IFC Films Unlimited would be in the package, and it would also get Bezos a stake in BBC America, Britbox and Funny or Die.
Are Amazon about to swoop in, like the vampire they may soon own, to drain beleaguered AMC and be the first major predatory move of this pandemic?