Forget the MCU, the “universe” for LGBTQ+ folks is headed to AMC this fall. Not only is its super-queer adaptation of Interview with the Vampire set to premiere in October, but the network is also following it up with Anne Rice’s other supernatural series, Mayfair Witches, later this year.
During a panel for the Television Critics Association summer press tour, showrunner Esta Spaulding confirmed that the series is indeed very queer. “It was a complete and total priority for us, and we want, you know, our audience to look at this show and look at all of the characters in the show and feel that they see themselves, whoever they are; that the show is inviting and inclusive of every point of view and ... everybody who watches it,” she says.
For executive producer Michelle Ashford, creating a world that was queer-inclusive was essential to adapting the novels by Anne Rice, whose work was a major touchstone for Gen X queers who discovered and devoured her books. “We do feel that that’s the best way to honor Anne and how she felt about the world and people and life,” says Ashford. ”We really feel we do it both because it makes for great television but also it’s the best way we can pay tribute to her.”
According to the official synopsis, Mayfair Witches focuses on an intuitive young neurosurgeon named Rowan Fielding (Alexandra Daddario) who discovers that she’s the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.
The first season is deeply inspired by the first book, The Witching Hour, says Spaulding. “And it starts where the book starts in that mood of New Orleans and the sort of ghost story of this house,” she adds.
For Daddario, who’s no stranger to working in genre film and TV having previously starred in American Horror Story, We Summon the Darkness, and Texas Chainsaw (most recently she can be seen in White Lotus), adding an Anne Rice credit to her resume was “wonderful.”
“It’s incredible to do something that is based on an Anne Rice novel and also bring that sort of unique touch of weirdness and just her investment in the dark side of human nature with no rejection of it,” she adds.
“While there are things that feel familiar [in the series]... it’s very perverse,” says Daddario. “It’s very, very disturbing in these very uniquely psychological ways that only Anne Rice could do. And we’re trying to bring that into the show.”
The series also stars Jack Huston as Lasher, Tongayi Chirisa as Ciprien, Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair, Annabell Gish as Diedre, and Beth Grant as Carlotta.
Mayfair Witches is set to debut on AMC later this year.