Despite movie (and vampire) fans’ curiosity about Cage’s distinctive spin on the voice and aesthetic of Count Dracula in the upcoming film, the Academy Award-winning actor is not the main character. Instead, the film’s protagonist and namesake is Nicholas Hoult, who plays the Transylvanian count’s right-hand man, Renfield.
Renfield begins as a devoted servant who gradually becomes disillusioned with carrying out Dracula’s malevolent deeds. When a traffic cop played by Awkwafina catches his eye, love fuels Renfield to reevaluate his outlook on life and his willingness to continue helping Dracula.
The cast includes Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Bess Rous and more.
In Stoker’s writings, Renfield was portrayed as a delusional inmate at an insane asylum who eats living creatures because he believes their blood will make him immortal. Stoker ultimately reveals, however, that these outlandish acts are a result of being brainwashed by Dracula.
“Renfield” is directed by Chris McKay, who previously helmed “The Lego Batman Movie” and its sequel, and Samantha Nisenboim is executive producing the feature alongside Todd Lewis. The script was based on an idea from “The Walking Dead” comic book co-creator Robert Kirkman and authored by “Rick and Morty” writer Ryan Ridley.
“What makes it super fun is that it’s a comedy,” Cage told Variety in a December 2021 interview. “And when you get that tone right — comedy and horror — like ‘American Werewolf in London,’ it’s a blast.”
Hoult is also slated to appear in Robert Eggers’ “Nosferatu,” a reboot of the 1929 film which was unofficially adapted from Stoker’s 1897 novel.
“Renfield” will premiere in theaters on April 14, 2023. Watch the trailer below.