On behalf of fans of vampire movies everywhere, I certainly hope we can chalk this one up to just a silly rumor. Bloody Disgusting is reporting that United Artists is pushing to snap up the rights to the fourth novel in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, The Tale of The Body Thief. According to BD's sources, "here's speculation on my behalf, but UA = Tom Cruise, right? Might we be seeing Tom Cruise back as the Vampire Lestat?" The casting of Tom Cruise as the Vampire Lestat in Neil Jordan's 1994 adaptation of Rice's bestselling novel, Interview with The Vampire, caused an uproar among fans (and the author for that matter). Rice had been quoted as saying that Cruise was, "no more my Vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler".**

The story of Body Thief picks up with Lestat who has made a deal with a "body thief" to get the chance to switch bodies and to live like a mortal again. This would be the third attempt to make an Anne Rice book into a film, the last being the disastrous Queen of the Damned with Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend as Lestat. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Townsend's Lestat wasn't too bad all things considered. He definitely had the Lestat pout down pat, something that Cruise could just never quite pull off in Interview. Not to mention Cruise's avoidance of the obvious homoerotic content to the original story -- although kudos to Antonio Banderas and Brad Pitt for being the only two actors in that film to even hint at a little vampire on vampire action.

As we all know, Cruise's relationship with Paramount ended badly back in '06. Now that Cruise is calling shots at UA, could Tom be planning to "ruin" yet another Anne Rice property? Until we get some kind of official word on the project, lets just keep our fingers crossed that Cruise is going to leave the fangs to someone else this time.

**Rice did eventually back-track and reverse her statements once she actually saw the film and Cruise's performance.