Elton John and Bernie Taupin Will Bring The Vampire Lestat To Life as a Musical

News   Elton John and Bernie Taupin Will Bring The Vampire Lestat To Life as a Musical Elton John and longtime songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin will reteam for The Vampire Lestat, a working title for a new musical based on the Anne Rice character, the artists announced May 6.

Elton John
Elton John

The new musical will mark Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures Inc.'s first foray into the theatre. A 2005 Broadway bow has been announced.

"'Interview With the Vampire' is one of my favorite books and Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors," said John in a released statement. "Although this project has taken a while to come together, I firmly believe we have the right team in place. The Vampire Lestat is the first stage musical that I've written with Bernie which makes it even more special for me."

The new musical will feature a book by Linda Woolverton ("The Lion King," Beauty and the Beast, Aida) and be directed by Robert Jess Roth (Beauty and the Beast). Producer Emanuel Azenberg is also involved as a producer for Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures.

"Anne had always loved the idea of seeing her Vampire Chronicles set in some sort of serious and seductive musical setting and for all of the parties involved this is the opportunity of a lifetime," added Taupin. "Our intention is make a classically-based show that is stripped of gothic clichés and that shows the vampire dealing with his damnation on a more realistic and human level. Please let me make this clear this is NOT a rock opera. Our hope is that it will be stylish, sexy, intelligent, rich and hypnotically dark."

The title character has been adapted for the screen in such films as "Interview With the Vampire" and "Queen of the Damned." Both movies drew on the original best-selling novels by Anne Rice. Recording artist Elton John, known internationally for his pop songwriting career of over 30 years, is currently represented on Broadway by the long-running Disney collaborations The Lion King and Aida. Among the dozens of topselling and Grammy Award-winning pop songs he and Taupin collaborated on include "Your Song," "Tiny Dancer," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," "Daniel," "Rocket Man," "Candle In The Wind," "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," "Bennie and the Jets" and many more.

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures will be its parent company Warner Brothers Entertainment's first theatrical endeavor. The organization, which was founded more than 75 years ago started as a motion picture company, has become a multi-faceted entertainment company branching into television, home video, animation and international theatres.

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Vampires have inspired a number of musicals in the past year. Jim Steinman's Dance of the Vampires — based on the Roman Polanski film "The Fearless Vampire Killers" — saw the Broadway stage this season. Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale "Dracula" was adapted into three separate incarnations that have been seen in regional theatres: Dracula: A Chamber Musical (book and lyrics by Richard Ouzounian with music and orchestrations by Marek Norman); Dracula — The Game of Love (book and lyrics by Michael Lazar with music by Richard Oberacker); and Dracula, the Musical (book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black with music by Frank Wildhorn). Posters for the Wildhorn version popped up around Manhattan in 2002, but no announcement has been made for the show's future following its California premiere.