True Blood reboot reportedly in the works at HBO Max

True Blood. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO
True Blood. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO /

HBO Max is apparently looking to grow its roster of original programming by reviving one of the network’s biggest hits – True Blood.

While most of us are still waiting for HBO Max to be available on Roku devices, it has been announced that the streaming platform is developing a reboot of the sexy vampire series, True Blood. (Yes, really.)

Original show creator Alan Ball is slated to return as an executive producer, alongside Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and NOS4A2 creator Jami O’Brien. Aguirre-Sacasa and O’Brien will be co-writing the pilot. This news comes on the heels of HBO Max’s announcement back in September that Aguirre-Sacasa would also be spearheading a new “horror-tinged, coming-of-rage” version of the former Freeform series Pretty Little Liars.

Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries book series authored by Charlaine Harris, True Blood originally aired on HBO from 2008-2014. The show centered around telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) who suddenly finds herself embroiled in the world of vampires, who have “come out of the coffin” and are now fighting for equal rights.

The supporting cast included Sookie’s best friend Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), boss Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), medium Lafayette Reynolds (the late Nelsan Ellis), and her brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten). A fair amount of the show is spent exploring the love triangle between Sookie and vampires Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard), while the series also dealt with contemporary real-world issues such as discrimination, drug addiction, identity, family, and violence against minorities and queer individuals.

The horror series became a hit almost instantly, becoming the most-watched HBO series since The Sopranos. True Blood went on to win an Emmy award for Outstanding Casting for a Drama, as well as an American Film Institute Award in 2009, a People’s Choice Award, a Golden Globe, Satellite Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Sexy, witty, and blood-drenched, True Blood received generally favorable reviews for the first five seasons, but ratings declined shortly after Ball’s departure from the series ahead of season 6. Most fans of the show didn’t love the last two seasons, particularly the series finale, so perhaps this is a way to right some of its predecessor’s wrongs?

The original series was a fairly loose adaptation of the novels, at times excluding whole storylines or characters, so there is plenty of new material to be used the second time around. With the addition of Ball’s return, the series could be a more faithful account of the events of the novels, thereby setting itself apart from the original. There has been no word as of yet if any original cast members could return for the new series.

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