The Interview with the Vampire panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 featured a great deal of insight from the cast and crew, including some tantalizing tidbits from showrunner and writer Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights, Perry Mason) about how to best prepare for the new series.
One of the things he talked about early on in the panel is that the AMC series has been created with the benefit of hindsight that wasn’t available before. “Anne wrote this book in 1976,” Jones said, “and then she took time off and then wrote all these other books. And we get the advantage of building this having read all these books before she did. And we’re building a universe, so we’re trying to build a pilot that will make season 1 succeed and you’re trying to envision [the show] succeeding for as many years as AMC wants to put this on.”
Naturally, building a universe comes with inherent challenges, and that’s why the team felt that little tweaks were necessary in order to build the larger universe. Jones stresses, however, that just because there are little changes, the heart of the story is still there.
“For the most part, we stayed aggressively reverential to [the source material],” he said. “Trust me, folks, the tent poles are here: the plot, the story of this thing. I would say it’s even more reverential than the  movie is. Stick with us for six or seven episodes and you’ll see.”
The panel moderator later asked Jones about the Easter eggs fans might see in the show from elsewhere in Anne Rice’s work.
“We’re building a universe,” Jones explained. “So I’d say there’s also the [Mayfair] Witch Universe — we’re all in the same city. I would say if you’ve read these books — Prince Lestat, The Vampire Armand, a little bit — and know these books backwards and forwards, every episode has something that has dribbled into this first book.”
What’s more is that the writers wanted to pay tribute to the original source material, so they came up with a special way to do just that.
“Every episode is titled from some bit of beautiful prose that is appropriate for the episode from Anne’s writing,” Jones continued. That means that the episode titles themselves are Easter eggs, which adds to the excitement.
The review embargo lifts on September 22, at which point I’ll be able to say more about the episodes I’ve screened. Until then, vampire friends, it looks like some re-reading might be necessary as we enter the final countdown.