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SYFY WIRE Renfield

'Renfield' director Chris McKay wants sequel that takes deep dive into psyche of Nic Cage's Dracula

Is it even possible to psychoanalyze an undead monster?

By Josh Weiss
Renfield (2023)

What would Sigmund Freud have to say about Dracula's deep-seated emotional issues? We'll never know for certain because one is a fictional character and the other's been dead for almost a century. But don't worry too much about it — filmmaker Chris McKay is here to ponder the mysteries of the immortal vampire psyche, so you don't have to! 

Catching up with Total Film for the magazine's latest issue (now on sale), the director confessed that he's already pondering a follow-up effort to his upcoming horror-comedy, Renfield, which shines a light on the toxic relationship between the Count (Nicolas Cage) and his right-hand man (Nicholas Hoult). If a second movie is in the cards, McKay would like the opportunity to take a deep dive into the blood-soaked mind of the most famous bloodsucker of all time.

RELATED: David Dastmalchian teases creepy Dracula spinoff 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter'

"You know, there are some minor moments here where you get to see some of the pathos in Dracula's eyes... and that made me think that maybe one day I might like to try for a whole movie where you're really understanding the psyche of the character," he said, later adding: "I didn't really have the time to delve into that here."

For the last hundred years, Renfield has been delivering innocent victims to his undead master without a word of dissent. In exchange, he also enjoys the status of immortality and can temporarily gain supernatural abilities by munching on insects. At some point along the way, however, Renfield begins to realize that the coffin-dwelling employer is nothing more than "the ultimate narcissistic boss," said writer Ryan Ridley. And so begins a "journey" to walk away from the dead-end (no pun intended) occupation of draining people of their blood.

"This isn't to denigrate anybody else's movies, but I think in the past people have taken things very seriously," he continued. "Sometimes that can be good. But that's not the only way to go. We wanted to embrace the fact that these characters are scary, but they're also romantic and sympathetic."

Hoult found himself attracted to the eponymous role by "this beautiful story of empowerment," the actor said. "Of finding people that can help you navigate tricky situations, and of getting out of toxic relationships. It just felt fresh and different and fun."

The hotly-anticipated movie also stars Awkwafina (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog), James Moses (Queenpins), and Adrian Martinez (Stumptown). McKay is a producer with Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst. Samantha Nisenboim serves as an executive producer.

Renfield sinks its fangs into theaters everywhere Friday, April 14.

Need to satisfy your vampire craving right now? Check out SYFY's Reginald the Vampire, which is set to return later this year for a second season.