Washington: Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is all set to play Dracula in ‘Renfield’, a monster movie centring not on the infamous vampire, but rather his notorious lackey.
The call sheet may be confusing because Cage is starring alongside another Nic, Nicholas Hoult, who is portraying the unhinged henchman known as Renfield, as per Variety.
An origin story, the upcoming film is expected to take place in the present day. It’s not clear how much it will stick to the source material, Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel ‘Dracula’. In the literary thriller, R.M. Renfield was an inmate at a lunatic asylum.
He was thought to be suffering from delusions that compelled him to eat live creatures in the hopes of obtaining immortality, until it’s later revealed that he’s under the influence of one Count Dracula.
Chris McKay, the filmmaker behind ‘The Tomorrow War’ and ‘The Lego Batman Movie’, is directing and producing ‘Renfield’ from a screenplay by Ryan Ridley of ‘Rick and Morty’ fame.
Cage is known to be an intensely method actor, gorging on red meat to gain weight and connect as a carnivore in the 2013 crime drama ‘Joe’ and removing two of his teeth without anesthesia to inflict physical pain on himself before playing a Vietnam veteran in 1984’s ‘Birdy’. In the case of ‘Renfield’, it could mean plenty of garlic in Cage’s future.
‘Renfield’ is Universal’s latest attempt to fashion a cinematic universe around characters from the studio’s vast monster vault.
After Tom Cruise’s 2017 reboot ‘The Mummy’ flopped in theaters, the studio shifted its strategy away from interconnected stories and instead began to focus on standalone features. It has also been keeping production budgets on the lower end, making it easier for spooky pics to turn a profit.
‘Renfield’ will be produced by Skybound Entertainment’s film team, including Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst. McKay’s producing partner Samantha Nisenboim will serve as an executive producer.