Universal’s Monsters Dark Universe franchise (“The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise) died on the vine before it had a chance to begin properly. That led to Leigh Whannell’s domestic abuse horror thriller “Invisible Man” and many new announcements. One of them is Chris McKay’s “Renfield,” penned by “Rick & Morty” writer Ryan Ridley placing iconic characters from “Dracula” into more of a humorous setting, further illustrating Uni’s desire to make one-off films that don’t need to connect.
Nicholas Hoult, who currently stars in the Hulu comedy “The Great,” will be playing Renfield in the new film, the sidekick of Count Dracula, and there is casting news concerning the beloved vampire. THR reports that Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage will be sinking his teeth into the Dracula role in the comedy that will have a modern setting. Cage recently got some performance buzz for his role in the drama “Pig.”
Renfield acts as Dracula’s familiar, a human servant of a vampire, and has been promised immortality if he faithfully serves his master. It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic is explored in “Renfield” and how comedic it will be compared to ridiculous vampire projects like “Vampire In Brooklyn” or “Dracula: Dead & Loving It.” Speaking of absurd vampire films, this is, of course, not the first time Nicolas Cage has played one before. He also starred as a wannabe vampire in the hilarious 1989 horror-comedy “Vampire’s Kiss.”
Universal’s “Dracula Untold” was the last significant attempt to explore the iconic horror character’s origin and ended with British actor Luke Evans portraying him. At the end of the film, Evans’ Dracula showed up in a modern setting but plans to include that incarnation in the Dark Universe were nixed when the film failed to make an impact.
Other Universal Monsters projects in development at the studio includes a western “Dracula” film from Chloe Zhao, a new “Wolfman” film led by Ryan Gosling, a sequel to “Invisible Man,” a new incarnation of “Van Helsing,” another horror-comedy from “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, and a few others.