In this modern monster tale of Dracula’s loyal servant, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men franchise) stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula (Oscar winner Nicolas Cage). Renfield is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, after centuries of servitude, Renfield is ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness. If only he can figure out how to end his codependency.
Coming to theaters on April 14th, is Renfield, a Horror/Comedy film focusing on the henchman of Count Dracula. Renfield meets and, from what we’ve gathered in the trailer, falls in love with cop, Rebecca Quincy, played by Awkwafina (Shang-Chi: Legend Of The Ten Rings). Renfield then searches for a way to free himself, but Dracula’s hold is very strong.
That’s basically all the information that we have, so far. It’s still early, so more info will be released later, as the release date nears. Other cast members include Ben Schwartz (Parks And Recreation) as Teddy Lobo , a mobster, Adrian Martinez (The Blacklist) as Chris Marcos, Rebecca’s fellow cop, and Shohreh Aghdashloo (Star Trek: Beyond) as crime boss Ella. Brandon Scott Jones (CBS’ Ghosts) is also featured as the leader of the support group Renfield seeks help from (and if the trailer is any indication, it may be a bite part….I mean, bit part)
Renfield is based on a pitch from Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead and Invincible. Ryan Ridley (Ghosted , Rick & Morty ) wrote the screenplay. The story was described as being in the same vein as Taiki Waititi’s vampire mocumentary What We Do In Shadows. Originally, Dexter Fletcher has been hired to direct, but was replaced by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, The LEGO Batman Movie) after Fletcher left the project to work on The Saint reboot for Paramount. McKay was hired because he reportedly gave a successful pitch combining the story’s mix of humor and action, which was something that Universal Studios was looking for.
Universal had been looking to bring new life into their Universal Monster franchise, after Dracula: The Untold Story and The Mummy failed at the box office, the studio made the decision to forgo a shared cinematic universe and just focus on individual stories. After the critical and box office success of 2020’s The Invisible Man, Universal used that film as a relaunch for the Monster franchise. Renfield is the second of this relaunched franchise.
The film has a great cast, and a great choice for the main character. Obviously, audiences are probably going to be focusing on Nicolas Cage as Dracula, a character of whom he was a big fan. His most outlandish and gonzo roles have been his most memorable, this may be close to being on the same level as those roles, depending on if the studio had asked him to tone it down, or if he was allowed to be himself. To prepare for the role, Cage studied performances of past Draculas, Bela Lugosi, Frank Langella, and Gary Oldman, to see what he could bring different to the character and to try and bring the right combination of comedy and horror. Cage also mentioned An American Werewolf In London, Malignant, and The Ringu as inspirations for the role. This role is his first role for a major studio since Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance.
Filming began in New Orleans on February 3, 2022 and was completed on April 14, 2022, one year prior to it’s theatrical release.
If the trailer is any indication, the film will be something the audience can sink their teeth into (don’t worry, I’m done).
Renfield is produced by Skybound Entertainment partners Robert Kirkman and David Alpert (The Walking Dead, Invincible), co-presidents Bryan Furst (Daybreakers) and Sean Furst (Daybreakers) and by Chris McKay. McKay’s producing partner Samantha Nisenboim (co-producer, The Tomorrow War) will executive produce. Film will hit theaters on April 14, 2023.
Here’s hoping this one really has some teeth at the box office. (Gary may have been done, but I wasn’t.) -ed
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.