This weekend it was Nicolas Cage’s 59th birthday (yes, he ages, in a different way than the rest of us mortals but he does), and it was also when Universal Pictures released the first trailer for the anticipated movie Renfield (2023) where, as everybody might know by now, marks the first time Cage is playing one of his most desired roles on this planet: Dracula.
The presence of Dracula has always been circling around Nicolas Cage. Not only he mentions Christopher Lee as one of the main reasons to pursue a career in acting but he was for a while considered for the role of Jonathan Harker in his uncle Francis Ford Coppola‘s adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1992), a role that eventually landed on Keanu Reeves. But Cage, well known for his weird and histrionic interests like living for a while in a Romanian haunted castle, has more links to the popular bloodsucker. He played a vampire in the fantasy comedy Vampire’s Kiss (1988) and debuted as a producer with Shadow of the Vampire (2000), the story of the filming of the essential film Nosferatu (1922).
In Renfield (2023), Nicolas Cage plays Dracula and Nicholas Hoult (nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in The Great (2020), and also present in Warm Bodies (2013) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)) plays R.M. Renfield. The movie is a modern monster tale of the Count’s loyal servant, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula. 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.
Chris McKay, a Primetime Emmy Awards winner for Robot Chicken (2001) and also the director of The Lego Batman Movie (2017) and The Tomorrow War (2021), is in charge of the movie with a screenplay written by Primetime Emmy Awards for Rick and Morty (2013) and based on an idea by Robert Kirkman, the creator of the graphic novel The Walking Dead.
The rest of the cast in Renfield (2023) is formed by Awkwafina, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Brandon Scott Jones, Jenna Kanell, Ben Schwartz, Caroline Williams, and William Ragsdale, who was the star in Fright Night (1985).
In 2014, Universal Pictures announced its plan to reboot the “Classic Monsters” franchise and its properties, including the character of Count Dracula, as part of a shared universe known as the Dark Universe. The two first movies under that new brand, Dracula Untold (2014) and The Mummy (2017), were such an audience and critics failure that Universal decided to shift its focus on individual storytelling and move away from the shared universe concept.
As a stand-alone title, not linked to any cinematographic universe, Renfield (2023) is set for a theatrical release on April 14, 2023.
Renfield (2023) is Rated R for bloody violence, some gore, language throughout, and some drug use. Watch here its official trailer.