As a relatively unknown writer, Anne Rice had sold the film-making rights to her novels to a company called Lorimar Productions. In 1988, they were bought out by Warner Bros, who acquired the rights that way.
Interview with the Vampire was a box-office success, so everyone seemed keen to see filming begin on the sequel. Everyone except, it appeared, Warner Bros themselves. Nothing much happened at all between 1994 and 1998.
By now, Anne Rice could see the deadline approaching. At the end of 2000, all rights would revert to her. She was enthusiastic and ready for this to happen. She'd written the screenplay of the first book and she was willing to do the same for The Vampire Lestat. She also spoke with a director, who was already on the Warner Bros pay-roll. They believed it would happen.
It did not. But to stop the rights reverting back to the author, meetings began on another project. Movie executives did not involve Anne Rice. She wrote to fans, 'I felt snubbed and hurt and have not bothered to approach them since. The young director is supposed to be developing THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED which I think is a bad idea, and basically a doomed project.'
The backlash pretty much began right there. Anne didn't like it, so the fans didn't like it. When it became clear that the studio were not only filming the books out of order, but substantially changing the storyline, then all Hell broke lose.
Later on, after filming had begun, the studio belatedly realized that Anne should be someone kept on side for this. They dispatched Stuart Townsend, who would play Lestat, probably to head off the troubles in the first movie, when Anne had publicly turned against the casting of Tom Cruise for the same role.
She'd later relented - once she'd seen him on the screen - and apologized. Stuart Townsend charmed her from the first, so she never spoke up against him at all.
With a veritable storm raging, Anne Rice was allowed a private viewing of the movie shortly before its general release. She changed her tune immediately, allowing her name to be associated with it and declaring herself pleased. But the damage was long since done.
A year later, Anne back-tracked again. Now she tried hard to dissociate herself from the publicity, repeatedly telling fans that she hated the movie. It had, she said, 'mutilated' her work. There were few who'd disagree with that statement.