Univeral’s upcoming Renfield will be a reimagining of Bram Stokers Dracula and will see Nicholas Cage play the legendary vampire. Known for his unique style and bizarre performances, Cage will certainly bring his own flavor to the role.
In preparation, Cage has used the previous iterations of Bela Lugosi and Frank Langella as inspiration for his take on the character. He also watched his uncle Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Dracula movie, which he described as “sumptuous.”
Cage recently spoke with Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast about playing Dracula and said that he looked to James Wan’s Malignant as another source of inspiration.
“I want it to pop in a unique way from how we’ve seen it played. So I’m thinking to really focus on the movement of the character. You know, I saw Malignant and I thought what she did with those moves — and even Ringu with Sadako [Yamamura]… I want to look at what we can explore with this movement and voice.”
Cage’s comments about taking inspiration from the campy Malignant might give us a hint towards what we can expect from the film and his version of Dracula.
“What makes it super fun is that it’s a comedy. And when you get that tone right — comedy and horror — like American Werewolf in London, it’s a blast. It’s got to be a bulls-eye. But that’s what I’m looking for, something new to bring to the character, and also that perfect tone of comedy and horror.”
Renfield marks a change of pace for Universal, who recently attempted to revamp its legacy horror characters for a contemporary audience. Tom Cruise’s The Mummy was set to ignite a “Dark Universe,” which would see the studio try to emulate the MCU, but plans soon changed after the film’s unsuccessful release.
While plot details are sparse, The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman developed the script and has already given us an idea of what’s to come:
“We’re doing this cool movie for Universal that’s a focus on Renfield. It’s a story about him being Dracula’s henchman, and how shitty a job that is. It’s a fun, extremely violent comedy because I’ve got a crutch and it’s violence.”
The film is also written by Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty) and will be directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War). Nicholas Hoult will star as the title character, Renfield.