Horror author Anne Rice penned the screenplay for this full-blooded adaptation of her novel, which chronicles the life of 18th-century nobleman Louis (Brad Pitt) after he is bitten by powerful, charismatic vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise). Though enthralled with the undead lifestyle at first, Louis is unable to warm up to killing humans and grows despondent. To comfort Louis, Lestat creates another vampire (Kirsten Dunst in a star-making peformance), a young girl who from then on cannot age. Antonio Banderas appears as Armand, a 400-year-old vampire, and Christian Slater plays the radio producer who interviews the remorseful Louis. Director Neil Jordan captures the lush decadence and erotic fervor of the novel, infusing the film with rich, dusky tones. The big budget is well used to bring each period and place to sharply detailed life, and there is no skimping on the blood or immortal angst. Thandie Newton has a small role as Louis's Creole servant near the beginning of the film, and Jordan regular Stephen Rea appears as a Parisian vampire theater star.