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Dexter Fletcher to Direct a Movie About Dracula’s Henchman for Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

“Rocketman” director Dexter Fletcher is attached to direct Universal’s “Renfield,” a monster movie centered on Dracula’s henchman and based on an original pitch from Robert Kirkman.

“Rick and Morty” scribe Ryan Ridley penned the script. The film will be produced by Skybound Entertainment’s film team, including Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst.

In the original “Dracula” novel, R.M. Renfield was an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was thought to be suffering from delusions, but is actually a servant of Dracula. Plot details are currently unknown, though it’s believed to take place during the present day and is not a period piece.

Universal had originally planned on creating an interconnected universe with its vast catalog of monster IP. However, the studio reassessed, and decided to move forward with filmmaker-driven projects based on the monsters’ legacies, focusing on what made the characters endure over time. Instead of prescribing a mandate that the films be part of a larger scheme, Universal loosened those restrictions and open-sourced to filmmakers to create their own unique stories.

That strategy is on display in Blumhouse and Leigh Whannell’s “The Invisible Man,” which debuts in 2020 and dropped its first trailer this month. Besides this and “Invisible Man,” Paul Feig is also currently developing a secret monster movie.

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The film will mark Fletcher’s first genre film following two musical biopics, starting with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” on which he was brought on after Bryan Singer was fired midway through the shoot. He followed that up with the Elton John pic “Rocketman,” which is in the awards conversation this year and grossed $96 million domestically.

Best known as the creator of “The Walking Dead” comics, Kirkman has been sought out on the producing front for more horror IP that includes a reboot for “An American Werewolf in London.”

Fletcher is repped by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern. Kirkman is represented by CAA, Circle of Confusion and Katz Golden Rosenman, and Ridley is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.

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