When AMC announced they would be adapting Anne Rice’s 1976 novel into a TV seriesvampire fiction fans around the world rejoiced. Interview With The Vampire made its big-screen debut in 1994, cementing itself as a cornerstone of bloodsucking film lore. With Rolin Jones Leading the charge, the upcoming TV adaptation is set to breathe new life into the undead, reimagining Rice’s immortal characters for a modern audience.
True Blood (2008-2014)
Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, True Blood follows the lives of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and the supernatural citizens of Bon Temps. In this story, vampires have “come out of the coffin” and live amongst mortals, thanks to the development of a synthetic blood substitute called “Tru Blood.” The seven-season series, created by Alan Ball, is adapted from Harris’s thirteen-book series. the first book, Dead Until Darkwas released in 2001 with installments published periodically up until 2013.
The TV show stays pretty on par with the novels until book four/season four when the story starts to deviate, using only minor elements from the books thereafter. Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll) and Jesus Velasquez (Kevin Alejandro) do not appear in the books and were created purely for the show. Sookie’s best friend Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) has a much larger role in the show, and thankfully her cousin Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) is not killed off in the second season as he is in the second book. Sookie and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) are also vampire-married in the books.
The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
Based on the novels by LJ Smith, The Vampire Diaries follows the life of mortal girl Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and her impossible choice between vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). In Mystic Falls, vampires are hunted. They must keep a low profile by attending high school and drinking blood from IV bags rather than veins. There are also witches, werewolves, and hybrids. The eight-season seriescreated by Julie Plec, is adapted from Smith’s thirteen-book series. The original four books, released in 1991, were written by Smith. She returned with another three in 2009, but the remaining six were ghost-written.
There are a few key differences between the books and the show. Mystic Falls is actually Falls Church. Elena and Caroline Forbes (Candice King) are fierce rivals rather than best friends, Elena has a little sister in the book instead of her teenage brother JeremySteven R. McQueen), Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) is a Scottish, red-haired witch descended from Celtic druids, and Elena is blond and blue-eyed. She’s also kind of mean and not the selfless, empathic girl you see in the show.
A Discovery Of Witches (2017-2022)
Based on the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches follows the life of historian-witch Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) and her scientist-vampire beau Matthew de Clermont (Matthew Goode). In this world, creatures–vampires, witches, and daemons–live secretly among mortals and are not allowed to mix. After finding an ancient magical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Diana and Matthew must investigate the reasons behind the rapid decline of the creature population.
The first book in the trilogy was released in 2011, with the following installments published in 2012 and 2014. The series was adapted for TV in 2018 and ran for three seasons, each season corresponding with each book. The show stays largely true to its source material, however, each character is given a fuller backstory on screen. The Finnish witch Satu Jarvinen (Malin Buska) and Matthew’s vampire brother Baldwin (Trystan Gravelle) have bigger roles in the show, acting as the main antagonists.
Based on Jonathan Maberry‘s graphic anthology novels, V-Wars follows the story of Dr. Luther Swann (Ian Somerhalder) and his battle against the outbreak of a deadly virus which turns humans into vampires. He must go up against his best friend Michael Fayne (Adrian Holmes), who is infected and becomes the leader of the vampire faction called the Bloods. The virus is caused by ancient biological matter that escapes from the melting ice caused by climate change.
Maberry’s original four graphic anthology novels were released between 2012 and 2016. The TV show followed in 2019 but only ran for one season before its unfortunate cancellation. Executive producer and vampire alum Ian Somerhalder is working on getting V-Wars back on the air, telling fans that “there are a lot of great stories to tell, and I’m going to tell them.”
The Twilight Saga (2008-2012)
Based on Stephanie Meyer‘s four-book series, Twilight chronicles the love story between human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). The Cullen vampire family is based in rainy Forks, which is convenient since their skin sparkles when the sun is out. They are “vegetarian” vampires who only drink animal blood. But when Bella joins the family, they must battle with newborn vampires, trackers, and the ruling Volturi.
Meyer’s four books were released between 2005 and 2008, sparking the vampire craze of the 2010s. Shortly after in 2008, the first film was released followed by four more installments, with the last book Breaking Dawn broken into two films. The movies stay true to the novels for the most part with some minor differences–Alice Cullen’s (Ashley Greene) backstory is not referred to at all in the film despite being detailed in the book, Bella and her father Charlie (Billy Burke) don’t spend nearly as much time in the diner as they do in the film, and Alice’s vision of the final battle in Breaking Dawn Pt.2 did not take place in the books.
Vampire Academy (2014)
Based on Richelle Mead‘s six-book series, Vampire Academy tells the story of half-vampire, half-mortal Rose Hathaway (Zoey Dutch), and her best friend, vampire princess Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry). In this world, there are three types of vampires–dhampirs who have mixed heritage like Rose, Moroi who are an elite, civilized class of vampires, and Strigoi who are bloodthirsty and extremely hard to kill. Dhampirs train to be guardians to Moroi, who must be protected from Strigoi.
The first book in the series was released in 2007 with installments published periodically up until 2010. In 2014, Vampire Academy hit the big screen but was met with mixed reviews. Complaints about the film included the lack of explanation about the different vampire classes, which was prominent in the books but glossed over in the film. The genre did not fit the dark, intricate themes present in the book, with the film playing out as a buddy comedy. Fortunately, the series is currently in development for TV over at Peacock, fans hope that this adaptation will do the books justice.
Dracula (1931) / Dracula (1958) / Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Perhaps the most famous vampire novel of all time, Dracula by Bram Stocker tells the story of lawyer Jonathan Harker who is called to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania to help him settle some real estate business. Harker eventually flees the castle once he finds out the Count is a member of the undead and joins forces with Professor Abraham Van Helsing to hunt and kill Dracula.
Count Dracula in 1931 before passing the mantle to Sir Christopher Lee in 1958. Director Francis Ford Coppola took on Stocker’s story next in 1992, casting Gary Oldman as Dracula alongside Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker.The 1897 novel has been adapted countless times for both film and TV however these three adaptations are widely considered to be the greatest. Bela Lugosi took on the role of
Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Before you watch the upcoming TV series, you might want to catch the 1994 film adaptation of Interview With The Vampire. The film follows Anne Rice‘s 1976 pretty closely, chronicling the story of vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt) and his mercurial companion List de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise). The story takes Louis and Listat from New Orleans to Paris, with their vampire “daughter” Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) in tow. In Paris, they are ushered into the secret society of the Theaters des Vampires. Bloody heartbreak ensues.
In 2002, another of Rice’s Vampire Chronicles novels hit the big screen. Queen Of The Damnedwhich is actually the third book in the series, was billed as a loose sequel to Interview With The Vampire. It is unclear how far into the book series the upcoming TV show will go, but hopefully, fans won’t have to wait too much longer to find out!