C'MON HOLLYWOOD: Bring Tom Cruise back as Lestat!

...bring Tom Cruise back as Lestat!
by J.A. Hamilton

After Tom Cruise’s production company (Cruise/Wagner Productions) bought out United Artists awhile back, Cruise began trying to breathe new life into the company. Their first feature film, LIONS FOR LAMBS, didn’t do too hot and despite the many setbacks and pitfalls surrounding VALKYRIE, it still managed to gross over two hundred million at the box office, keeping the dream alive. Now back in 2007, there were mad rumours of Cruise/Wagner Productions trying to sink their teeth into the rights for Anne Rice’s fourth Vampire Chronicles novel, The Tale of the Body Thief and since this company exists solely to produce Tom Cruise flicks people began hoping he would reprise the role of Lestat.

That's still one of the best endings ever.

Now vampire flicks (and shows) have significantly changed since INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, though as a vampire fan, I would have to say not many of these newer films hold a candle to INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE. QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, on the other hand, is a totally different story. Talk about taking a franchise seething with potential and flushing it down the toilet. I’ve never been a fan of the changing of actors/actresses for a major character, and despite liking Stuart Townsend, I didn’t care for him as Lestat and felt Cruise was far more believable and or likable in the role. The movie replaced many of the original characters, not that I was surprised being that Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas and Brad Pitt all became significantly big news after that and getting them all back at the time would have cost a fortune.

Aaliyah's hotness was about the only reason to watch this movie.

With the recent TWILIGHT and TRUE BLOOD craze (not to mention all the reboot and remake business going on), vampires are back in business and ready to draw more blood so the idea of this franchise returning from the grave is indeed likely. There were also rumours of Robert Downey Jr. being up for the role of Lestat, and though I love the guy, I just don’t see it. Many fans were going on about his age, saying he and Tom are too old now, but come on guys this is Hollywood we’re talking about here! Makeup is a wondrous thing and can make any actor or actress look ten to twenty years younger, so age isn’t exactly a relevant issue in my mind.

Something about him just wasn't convincing.

There’s also a bunch of buzz about Anne Rice rediscovering her Catholicism and as such, abandoning all such literature, which might imply that she’d squash the idea of BODY THIEF or any other Vampire Chronicles novel from being made into a movie. I’ve read all these books and my two cents on THAT issue is that it’s a little late to change your tune now. One of the things I loved most about Rice’s novels (the vampire ones in particular) was her engrossing attention to detail when it came to religion. That said, in MEMNOCH THE DEVIL Lestat actually travels back through time to when Jesus was being hauled off to be crucified and Rice actually has Lestat bite him and drink some of his blood. That’s a little hard to come back from.

There's still some worthwhile films here if handled correctly.

I’m a Tom Cruise fan for life, and though I’m remotely interested in a fourth MISSION IMPOSSIBLE flick, I’d be head over heels excited about seeing him come back as Lestat. I still remember him on Oprah when the original film came out and how a lot of women were against him ditching his pretty boy persona to play a bad ass vampire. To hell with them, because Tom nailed the role as well as any man could have in my opinion and I love seeing him as the bad guy just as much as I enjoy him being the hero (loved COLLATERAL). The Vampire Chronicles is a series that still has some blood left in it and making THE TALE OF THE BODY THEIF (though not the best idea to ever come to town) is still better than a lot of the crap in the pipeline right now, but to give it the proper bite Cruise definitely needs to be Lestat.
Extra Tidbit: Anne Rice's first choice to play the vampire Lestat was River Phoenix.
Source: JoBlo.com



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