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'Renfield': Nicolas Cage is world's suckiest boss (literally) in first trailer for vampire horror-comedy

Renfield arrives on the big screen Friday, April 14.

By Josh Weiss
Renfield (2023)

If you think your boss is a life-sucking monster, then try working for Count Dracula! 

The first neck-biting trailer for Universal Pictures' Renfield (out in theaters everywhere this April) makes us eternally grateful that we don't have to wait on the beck and call of pop culture's most famous vampire. Nicolas Cage (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) dons the cape, fangs, pallid complexion, and exhaustingly demanding nature of the chief bloodsucker. We guess anyone would turn into a massive diva after countless centuries of immortality.

Nicholas Hoult (The Menu), meanwhile, tackles the role of Drac's fed-up underling, Renfield. Despite the gift of supernatural abilities and an extended lifespan, all Renfield wants to do is return to a normal life. That can only be achieved, however, if he stops bringing the Count hordes of innocent victims (whether it's a table of nuns or a school bus full of cheerleaders). If the lead vampire is starved of fresh blood, "he won't grow to full power," the titular character explains at his support group for people stuck in toxic relationships.

"It’s a movie about co-dependency and it’s about bad bosses," director Chris McKay teased during a phone call with SYFY WIRE in the summer of 2021. "It’s definitely a horror-action movie, but it’s also obviously a comedy and it’s also gonna be a lot of fun." 

Check out two different versions of the trailer (regular and red band) below:

Sharing the trailer on his Twitter page, McKay wrote: "So excited for you all to see this. An incredible cast and crew came together in NOLA to make an action packed, gory comedy. Thank you to @UniversalPics for letting us make a f***ed up Dracula movie..."

The horror-comedy marks the second live-action outing for McKay, whose résumé includes The LEGO Batman Movie and Amazon's The Tomorrow War. Awkwafina (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog), James Moses (Queenpins), and Adrian Martinez (Stumptown) co-star alongside Cage and Hoult. The two leads previously played father and son in 2005's The Weather Man.

"I don't know how to say 'No' to Dracula," a smiling Cage said during an interview with BroBible last spring. "So when they offered me Dracula, I was like, 'Well, yeah, this is scary — let's bring that on.' It's scary because the character is scary, but it's also ... been done, and it's been done well. It's also been done not-so-well and I thought that I could do something with my own enthusiasm about Bram Stoker's book as well as Christopher Lee's performance in the Hammer films, as well as Langella's performance, as well as Oldman's performance, as well as Lugosi's performance. I wanted to embrace elements of each of them."

Renfield (2023)

Based on an original story by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), the film was written by Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty). McKay and Kirkman produced the project with David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst. The Fursts are no strangers to the vampire genre, having produced 2009's Daybreakers. McKay's producing partner — Samantha Nisenboim — is credited as an executive producer.

Renfield arrives on the big screen Friday, April 14.

Renfield (2023) Poster

Need more blood-sucking drama in your life? The first season of Vampire Academy is now streaming on Peacock. Or check out SYFY's own Reginald the Vampire.