Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “New show to be the next Game of Thrones!” It seems everyone wants to imitate HBO’s megahit nowadays. However, as we’ve seen with shows like FX’s The Bastard Executioner, which was canceled after just one season, imitation isn’t always a formula for success. Still, that hasn’t stopped networks from trying.
Let’s start with a project near and dear to my heart. Author Anne Rice recently announced on her Facebook page that the theatrical rights to her Vampire Chronicles novels are once again in her hands, and she intends to adapt them as a television show. “[T]elevision is where the vampires belong,” she writes. And she’s using Game of Thrones as a guide.
Over the years you all have told me how much you want to see a “Game of Thrones” style faithful rendering of this material, and how much you want for the series to remain in my control. Well, I have heard you. I have always heard you. What you want is what I want.
Rice and her son Christopher are working together on a pilot script and detailed outline for an “open-ended series” about the brat prince himself: Lestat, a major character from her books. If you aren’t familiar with The Vampire Chronicles, they’re a series of over a dozen books that mostly follow vampire Lestat de Lioncourt as he lives through the ages, meeting other vampires and interesting humans alike. Lestat was appeared onscreen a couple of times, but was most memorably played by Tom Cruise in 1994’s Interview with a Vampire (1994) costarring Brad Pitt as Louis, his ever-morose companion.
If the right network options this series, it most certainly could be done as a “Game of Thrones style faithful rendering.” The Vamipre Chronicles feature a plethora of sexually explicit scenes and fountains of blood and gore. There no way to faithfully tell Lestat’s story without those elements.
Next, Syfy is getting the word out about the second season of The Magicians, which airs in January of next year. Here’s the trailer:
As you can see, The Magicians Season 2 has political maneuvering, fantasy magic, and numerous kings and queens. Then there’s that line from Margo to Elliot: “Get over yourself, Ned Stark.” The Game of Thrones comparisons suggest themselves.
However, let’s not start calling this show “the next Game of Thrones,” or a “modern Game of Thrones with magic.” Having read the books (The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman), the best way to describe the series is “Harry Potter for adults.” For the television adaptation, SyFy rarely followed the books, but still produced a very good show.
Out these two shows, The Vampire Chronicles stands the best chance of becoming “the next Game of Thrones,” partly on account of its detail and complexity. That’ll be particularly true if a premium cable network like HBO, Starz, or Showtime picks up the show and devotes to it the resources it needs.