Nicolas Cage will be drawing blood with his next role. It was announced in November 2019 that Universal Pictures would be producing a film based on the characters in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The idea for Renfield came from Robert Kirkman, who has past experience with morbid creatures, as he created The Walking Dead.
In the 1987 gothic horror novel, R. M. Renfield is an inmate at the lunatic asylum overseen by Dr. John Seward, who suffers from delusions that compel him to eat living creatures in the hope of obtaining their life force. As readers discover, ol’ Dracula has Renfield under his spell, and the vampire eventually offers the madman immortality if he worships him…
Nicholas Hoult is set to assume the titular role in the Chris McKay-directed flick and will be joined by Cage, who will embody the Transylvanian Count himself. Awkwafinda has been announced to also join the cast. Although Stoker’s original novel took place in the 19th century, it is believed that the upcoming version will be set in the present day. It has further been reported that despite the dark subject matter, Renfield will be fairly comedic in tone, in the same vein (ahem…) as Taika Watiti’s satirical vampire mockumentary, What We Do in the Shadows.
Cage was last seen in Pig, which is a breakaway from the action movies he has become known for. Fans of the actor were hoping that he would reprise his role as Ben Gates in a third National Treasure film, but Disney has decided to go a different route by developing a television series for Disney+ with Lisette Alexis as the lead role. The Face-Off star has seven projects in development, including Renfield. He was also due to star in the untitled Joe Exotic series as the convicted zoo owner who rose to fame in the Tiger King documentary, but Amazon decided to shelve the eight-part series earlier this year.
“I'm a better man when I'm working,” the Academy Award winner previously told The New York Times Magazine. “I have structure. I have a place to go. I don't want to sit around and drink mai tais and Dom Pérignon and have mistakes in my personal life. I want to be on set. I want to be performing.”
Renfield's release date is to be determined.