True Blood came at the peak of the late-2000s sexy vampire craze, telling the story of the undead integrating with the human world after the invention of synthetic blood substitute. Over seven seasons we saw vampires battle for equal rights against anti-vampire organisations, with werewolves, faeries and witches eventually joining the party. The show won a whole bunch of awards, amassed a dedicated fanbase and was lauded for its allegorical LGBTQ rights narrative.
But now, just six years after the final episode aired, HBO is resurrecting True Blood. The reboot is set to be helmed by Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and NOS4A2‘s Jamie O’Brien. Creator and first showrunner Alan Ball is involved in some capacity, though it seems in more of an advisory role.
Fans of the show didn’t react well to the news. On social media they questioned the point of redoing a show less than a decade old and feared that it would “destroy” the existing show. The general mood appears to be “please leave it alone” and that “nobody asked for this”. Against this background original star Anna Paquin was quizzed about her opinion on HBO’s plan. In an interview with Collider, she said:
“I wish them well. I don’t know if they need us for anything. But it’s a fun world. It’s a supernatural world with endless possibilities. Of course, there’s room to do more and to tell more stories within that universe. We don’t own it.”
She went on to explain that while she still feels very attached to True Blood (and that those who worked on it are still good friends), the reboot is a separate entity:
“We do live in an era of entertainment where the reboot and the sequel have become a currency. So, is it time? I don’t know. That’s not my department. It was some of the best years of my life, but I don’t think them continuing to tell those stories or continuing in that world has anything to do with the thing we created. That’s its own special little entity that was ours and came with a whole family of cast and crew who are still in touch. We had a Cinco de Mayo lockdown Zoom with our cast and crew, and there were 75 people. We all are a family who has stayed in touch, and not just the actors. These are our people.”
Right now the project is in the early stages of development, but from the sounds of it this is a full reboot and won’t feature any of the original cast. Still, I can’t deny that a story about vampires “coming out of the coffin” isn’t fertile ground for storytelling, even if the first run of the show already comprehensively picked over the subject. Whatever the case, True Blood fans are bound to scrutinize every element of the reboot, so let’s hope the new team can live up to those high expectations.