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movie annoyances

Anne Rice wrote lots of books about vampires. One was made into a movie, and now another has been made into a movie, slated for February release: Queen of the Damned. Now, the Queen of the Damned (Akasha) is the original vampire, she is several thousand years old at the point of the novel when she wakens and meets Lestat. One of the major story points of the entire Vampire Chronicles is that as a vampire ages, their skin whitens to the point of ivory, and all wrinkles and such smooth out so that the vampire appears to be a statue carved of white marble. Thus Akasha, who is several thousand years old, looks like a white marble statue and is described as such in every single novel she is mentioned in.

The character of Akasha in the movie is being played by Aaliyah, a black woman.

Artistic license, okay; editing a novel to fit better on the screen, okay; adjusting characters slightly to fit the available actors, yucky but okay. Changing a fundamental part of the story, NOT okay. Somehow I doubt that a black woman was turned porcelain white, even by makeup, for an entire movie, especially when the promo photos show her as her normal skin color. Stupid movie makers.

(this post motivated by the promo photo in the back of this week's Time - yes it's a way cool costume, but Akasha was not black at the time of this novel/movie, dammit)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2002 08:38 pm (UTC)
Darnit, now you made me look. I think I almost wish you hadn't. But I guess maybe it's better to find out this and get disillusioned now than later.

I was sorta looking forward to this story, seeing as how QotD is my favorite book of the series (I like a lot of the characters a lot). But it looks like the book is changing a great deal of the storyline just so it can focus on Lestat and Akasha... and on music and sex and violence and bloodsucking and lust and cool all-powerful vampirisms. Uhm...

First, uh, love story between Lestat and Jesse? I don't exactly remember that bit. Second, "we could only include so many characters" so they dropped out everybody they see as not so important, like Louis, Daniel, Gabrielle (sniff), Eric, and Mekare.


They dropped Mekare? How the hell do they intend to END it? And exactly what part do the twins play? Uh-oh, reading back a paragraph: "We felt that focusing the movie on Lestat was the more pragmatic way to go. With less than two hours to work with, this meant no Story of the Twins."



Ok, I don't know WHAT they plan to do with this movie. I'm not sure I want to see it anymore. I think I might cry now.

Although apparently Aaliyah made up an ancient Egyptian accent for her part. That might be interesting.

Oh, and this rant is based off the movie website: http://queenofthedamned.warnerbros.com/, which includes an interesting-looking trailer.

Jan. 16th, 2002 09:14 pm (UTC)
My question
I've not read anything beyond IwaV, so I don't know this story much at all. From Alegria's rant it seems that the moviemakers have performed some sort of atrocity simply because the vampire's skin is black instead of white. I fail to see how this is an earthshattering essential part of the story-line.

Barbara, OTOH, makes several good points about the exclusion of key characters, the alteration of the storyline to include love interest between Lestat and Jesse, and an alternate ending due to a key character missing. To me, this makes much more sense as a rant. Then again I could just be jaded because I live with Joy. ;)

Jan. 16th, 2002 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: My question
Ack, you posted while I was posting, and I can't see how to edit my post. Oh well. :)

The reason I see the whole skin thing as so earth-shattering is because that is such an integral part of the whole Vampire Chronicles. As vampires age, they notice they cannot pass for human without makeup, they get stronger, and so on. One can tell roughly how old a vampire is by looking at them - the more "pure white marble" they look, the older and more powerful they are. And it comes up at least once in detail in every book, and is especially discussed whenever Akasha comes up because she is so ancient and so powerful. She has spent most of the last several thousand years completely responseless to the outside world, no matter what her keeper Marius has done to try to awake her.

From what little bit of the trailer would actually play for me, it looks like they start out with her set up as a white statue that magically comes to life as a real woman. It is better than I originally thought, but it still is not following the premise of the vampire world that Anne Rice set up. Sigh.
Jan. 16th, 2002 09:18 pm (UTC)
Well, the site you posted is the first real news I"ve seen, other than the whole mediafest over Aaliyah's death. It disturbs me further, for the reasons you've already stated. And this had the potential to be such a good movie too. :(

The only casting decision I agree with is the chick playing Maharet (at least, I'm assuming that's who the pretty red-haired actress is playing), who looks just like I pictured her. Although how they do her eyes should be interesting. But the fact that there is no Story of the Twins just kills the whole point of the movie. Plus no Brad Pitt as Louie and no Tom Cruise as Lestat? That's just wrong.

Sigh. I suppose I"ll have to spend the next few weeks convincing myself that the movie has nothing to do with the book, and then maybe I'll be able to see it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )