Nic Cage To Star As Count Drac In Renfield: All About Chris McKay’s Dracula Spinoff

Loved it when Dracula came and said "It's Draculin' Time!" and proceeded to Dracul!

by Abhirup Sengupta
Image: Universal Studios

After failing to get the controversial Dark Universe on track, Universal Studios is back with their latest Dracula spinoff, Renfield. While the production updates of this film did not receive much hype, the casting details did not disappoint potential fans. This mildly anticipated horror-comedy will star Nicolas Cage as the Count, while the titular lead role will be portrayed by another talented Nick, i.e., Nicholas Hoult.

As established by the title, the film will focus on Dracula’s henchman/slave, R.M. Renfield. While Renfield was described to be in his late fifties, Chris McKay’s modernized take has taken the liberty to make the character much younger.

What To Expect From Renfield (2023)?

According to a 2019 report from Variety, the development of this originated from a pitch by The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman. Though Dexter Fletcher (director, Rocketman) was initially looped to helm the project, Chris McKay (director, The Lego Batman Movie and Tomorrow War) was signed. 

Release Date:

The official release date is set for April 14, 2023. According to all official channels, the film will be released in theaters exclusively. However, the release dates for some international markets are not known yet. 

Expected Plot:

The official synopsis of the movie reads:

“In this modern monster tale of Dracula’s loyal servant, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max Fury Road, X-Men franchise) stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula (Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage). 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[sic] figure out how to end his codependency.”

Additionally, the official trailer further showcased Hoult’s Renfield reaching out to a group therapy session to vent his frustration about being employed by the Count. In the original novel, Renfield was similarly frustrated and warned the character of Mina Harker out of his conscience much to Drac’s chagrin.

The trailer footage also established that the film would remain faithful to Renfield’s reason for working under Dracula. In Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula enticed Renfield into enslavement with the offer of immortality and powers. Similarly, in the trailer footage, Renfield mentioned:

“Let me explain. My boss gave me this power. In return, I tend to his needs, including care, (and) feeding.”

The filmmakers maintained further accuracy to Stoker’s Dracula as Renfield’s powers are dependent on his consumption of insects and small rodent-like creatures. In the official trailer, Renfield ate a spider before taking down armed assailants to save Awkwafina’s Rebecca Quincy. According to multiple reports, Quincy, a traffic cop, would portray the love interest of Renfield. 

While details are scarce, this comedy-horror is expected to pit Renfield against mobsters and criminals. Thus, it may be possible that the former lawyer-turned-Dracula’s underling will be a vigilante-ish character to escape the frustrated employment under Dracula. As hinted in the trailer, Renfield may also attempt to sabotage the Count’s powers.

Main Cast:

  • Nicholas Hoult (Renfield)
  • Nicolas Cage (Count Dracula)
  • Awkwafina (Rebecca Quincy)
  • Ben Schwartz (Teddy Lobo)
  • Adrian Martinez (Chris Marcos)
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo (Ella)

With the involvement of a talented bunch of thespians like Nic Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina and Ben Schwartz, the film is expected to rise on the hype train. Additionally, Chris McKay’s track record with comedy projects combined with the screenplay by Ryan Ridley (Rick & Morty series), Renfield (2023) may be another home run for Universal’s reboot of classic monster films, following the success of Invisible Man (2018).

- This article was updated on January 5th, 2023

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