[Update 12:25 p.m.: For its part, a spokesperson for Imagine Entertainment has told TheWrap that the story below is “completely untrue.” TheWrap stands by its story.]
Fresh off the incredible global success of “The Fault in Our Stars,” director Josh Boone is in early talks to stake a claim on the new “Lestat” movie that Universal Pictures sunk its development fangs into earlier this month, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
Universal recently acquired the rights to author Anne Rice’s novels in “The Vampire Chronicles” series and set Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer to produce along with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Boone is being eyed to both write and direct. Grazer, Kurtzman and Orci have signed off on Boone’s hiring, according to one insider, while Universal’s approval is expected to be a mere formality. The studio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Universal and Imagine will have access to the entire body of existing and future novels in Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles” series, including the adapted screenplay for “Tale of the Body Thief,” written by Rice’s son, author Christopher Rice.
Other novels in the series include “Interview with the Vampire” and the upcoming “Prince Lestat.”
Rather than a remake of “Interview With the Vampire,” the new film is expected to draw from the second and third books in Rice’s series — “The Vampire Lestat” and “The Queen of the Damned” — and will likely be faithful to the source material.
Lestat de Lioncourt was played by Tom Cruise in Neil Jordan’s star-studded 1994 adaptation of “Interview With the Vampire,” though the character will be recast.
Imagine Entertainment president Erica Huggins will oversee the “Vampire Chronicles” series on behalf of the company, while Bobby Cohen will executive produce.
Boone is currently prepping his three-hour, faithful adaptation of Stephen King‘s “The Stand” for Warner Bros. and CBS Films. King has already blessed Boone’s draft and casting is expected to begin soon, with “Lestat” expected to follow “The Stand.”
Boone started from scratch on “The Stand,” which he took over from filmmakers such as Ben Affleck, David Yates and Scott Cooper. The novel chronicles an epic battle between good and evil after the American population is all but wiped out by a deadly virus.
Boone made his feature directorial debut with the indie comedy “Stuck in Love,” which starred Greg Kinnear as a writer grappling with family problems. The film, which co-starred Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Logan Lerman and Kristen Bell, also featured a cameo from King, who is one of Boone’s childhood heroes.
Fox 2000 hired Boone to direct its highly-anticipated adapted of John Green’s bestselling novel “The Fault In Our Stars,” and the budding young filmmaker did right by the studio, as the movie grossed $271 million worldwide.
Boone is repped by CAA and attorney Gregory Slewett.