The first trailer has been released for Nicholas Cage’s next film, Renfield, in which he stars as the biggest bloodsucker of them all, Dracula, opposite Nicholas Hoult, in the role of the Count’s strange assistant Renfield.
The two-minute clip begins with Renfield staggering into a modern-day help circle, saying that he needs “to get out of a toxic relationship”.
The other members of the group are concerned. “My boss is... different,” Renfield explains. The screen flashes to back-to-back scenes of action: Renfield is running through a series of rooms t lit by candlelight; he is dragging a body down a corridor; a grey cloud whizzes towards the mouth of a bishop; then the camera zooms in on Dracula’s mouth, which is full of spiky teeth, as the vampire says, “Renfield.”
Renfield is looking for Dracula’s next meal in a New Orleans bar. While eyeing up his potential victims, vigilantes storm the property, but they’ve chosen the wrong night for the attack. After eating a spider, Renfield’s powers are activated and he wipes all of them out. A traffic cop, played by Awkwafina, thanks him for his help, and a new relationship begins.
The stage is set for what looks like one hilarious ride as director Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie, The Tomorrow War) and writer Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty) reimagine the life of the character who does appear in Bram Stoker’s original novel.
Fans were thrilled by the trailer, with one commenting on YouTube, “Nicholas Cage as Dracula is one of the best casting choices they ever made.” Another said, “This movie is going to be wild no matter how good or bad it is,” while a third said, “This will be the greatest movie ever.”
The film, which also stars Ben Schwartz (Space Force), Adrian Martinez (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Saddam), is set to be released in April.
In Stoker’s 1897 novel, Renfield is described as being deranged, incredibly strong and morbidly excitable. He is in an insane asylum, is obsessed with immortality and is devoted to Dracula who supplies him with insects (which he eats, thinking they’ll extend his life).
Cage’s three decade career includes acclaimed films such as Rumble Fish, Wild at Heart and Leaving Las Vegas, for which he won an Oscar, as well as starring in a number of action classics such as The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off.
He’s also been in a vampire film before: in 1988 he starred in Vampire’s Kiss, another black comedy, this time about a literary agent (Cage) who falls in love with vampire Rachel (Jennifer Beals).
His production company Saturn Films produced the 2000 flick Shadow of the Vampire, which starred John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe and Eddie Izard. No stranger to the comedy-horror genre, either, Cage starred in plague-comedy Mom and Dad in 2017, which the Standard enjoyed, saying Cage was “at his OTT best in this hilarious horror.”
Speaking to Empire about his forthcoming role, the 58-year-old actor said: “When I got a sense of where McKay wanted to go, I realised the movie has a comedic, pop art attitude... So I thought: ‘This will be a pop-art Dracula.’ Warhol did a great black-on-black Dracula. This is in that Warhol vein.”
He added: “It’s a largely studio picture so I wanted to play with: ‘What can I get away with here?’ If you’re playing Dracula, you have a lot of latitude.”
For Hoult, whose recent roles include the period comedy-drama series The Great, as well as The Menu with Ralph Fiennes, this will not be his only vampire-related role either. In October it emerged that the 33-year-old British actor will be joining The Northman director Robert Eggers’ next film, a reimagining of the 1922 silent vampire classic Nosferatu.
Renfield will be released on April 14, 2023