Last week the first trailer was released for Universal Pictures’ darkly comedic horror-action feature “Renfield” which sees Nicolas Cage playing Dracula opposite Nicholas Hoult as his long-suffering acolyte.
“The LEGO Batman Movie” and “The Tomorrow War” helmer Chris McKay directs the project which takes Renfield, an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was the servant of the Transylvanian count in Bram Stoker’s novel, and plops him in modern-day New Orleans. Even there though, he can’t quite escape the toxic relationship that has developed between himself and the vampire.
The trailer pushed the film’s action elements heavily, but on paper it has been pushed as a dark comedy first and foremost. One thing it also does is raise the question of Nicolas Cage’s screen time. Whilst the presence of Cage’s Dracula hovers over the whole trailer, he only actually shows up at the end.
It seems that could be true of the film itself. Speaking with Collider, Cage discussed his role in the film and makes it very clear this is Hoult’s movie first and foremost, and his Dracula is purely there for support:
“The movie’s really not about me, Dracula rather, I don’t have a lot of screen time. It’s really Nick Hoult’s movie, and it’s about Renfield. I didn’t have the time, like the two-hour narrative to really dig deep into Dracula’s pathos per se. It’s not that.
But I did have enough screen time to be able to try to develop a pop-art style to the character that hopefully will be a nice contribution to the other performers that have done it, that have had their take on this legendary character in both literature and cinema.”
Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez and Bess Rous co-star in the project based on a pitch by “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and penned by “Rick and Morty” writer Ryan Ridley.
“Renfield” is slated for a theatrical release on April 14th 2023.