It’s been almost eight months since filming for Chris McKay’s Renfield came to an end, with Nicolas Cage fans everywhere waiting for any tidbit of information about the actor’s take on the legendary Dracula. And thanks to a recent interview that McKay did with Syfy Wire, the coffin lid is cracking open and the film’s plot is coming to life.
If you thought this would just be your run-of-the-mill horror feature centered around the most legendary vampire of all time, think again. With a cast list that includes Nicholas Hoult as the titular lackey to Cage’s Dracula and Awkwafina as Renfield’s love interest, production nearly spelled out that the film would take a more comedic tone. But, as McKay has revealed, his feature won’t be all laughs either. “It’s got action, it’s got a lot of heart,” the director says before adding that “it’s not without menace.” Renfield sounds like the horror-comedy-drama feature of our dreams!
So, exactly how will Cage’s Count Drac differ from performances like those of Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman? According to McKay, his movie will depict the legendary bloodsucker “as a sh*tty boss.” An unbelievably relatable nightmare, who can say that they’ve never encountered a boss that’s kept them on call during all hours, day or night? This is something everyone can vibe with, with McKay adding, “what if your boss was literally the boss from hell?” For Renfield, it sounds like his nightmare may last an eternity with Dracula keeping his employee on a tight leash.
As McKay put it, he was hoping that the film would be “something different,” and that it would take a big step “away from what you would typically think of a Dracula movie.” The filmmaker wanted to give it a more “modern” flare, and although he acknowledges it has a comedic aspect, he assures audiences that it won’t be “a straight-up comedy.”
McKay, who’s known for being the eye behind productions including The Lego Batman Movie and The Tomorrow War, is directing from a screenplay penned by Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty). The story itself was created by The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman who was inspired by the legend of Dracula but mixed with a fun and fresh twist. Along with Cage, Hoult, and Awkwafina, the film’s ensemble cast is made up of Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Bess Rouss, and James Moses Black.
From the latest plot reveal, it sounds like Renfield is in for a life of pure torture as the worst boss in the world’s — and hell’s — henchman in McKay’s reenvisioned version of the iconic tale. Renfield rises in theaters on April 14, 2023. Check out our interview with McKay about his sci-fi action flick, The Tomorrow War, below.