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SYFY WIRE Renfield

Nicolas Cage's Dracula film 'Renfield' wraps production, confirms April 2023 release

Nicholas Hoult co-stars as the Count's beleaguered assistant.

By Josh Weiss
(L-R) Nicolas Cage, Chris Mckay, Nicholas Hoult

Get your wooden stakes, vials of holy water, and cloves of garlic at the ready — Universal Pictures has officially wrapped production on Renfield, a supernatural horror-comedy centered around Count Dracula's beleaguered assistant.

The project was directed by The Tomorrow War's Chris McKay and has an official release date of April 14, 2023, the studio confirmed on Twitter this week. Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) stars in the titular role, while Nicolas Cage (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) tackles the most famous vampire in history. Awkwafina (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog), James Moses (Queenpins), and Adrian Martinez (Stumptown) round out the the principal cast.

Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty) wrote the screenplay, based off an original story by Robert Kirkman (creator of comic book hits like Invincible and The Walking Dead). Cameras first got rolling in early February of this year. Chatting with SYFY WIRE over the phone last summer, McKay (also known for helming The LEGO Batman Movie) described Renfield as "a movie about co-dependency and it’s about bad bosses. It’s definitely a horror-action movie, but it’s also obviously a comedy and it’s also gonna be a lot of fun."

Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman) was originally attached as director, but McKay ultimately took the job last spring

Appearing at a virtual panel for Comic-Con@Home in July 2021, Kirkman teased the basic premise of the film. "The whole plot is that Renfield is Dracula's servant and decides that he doesn't want to be his servant anymore, and it's that conflict that kind of drives the story," he said. "So yeah, Dracula's actually a big part of the movie."

News of Cage's casting made a big splash in late 2021, with the actor teasing his interpretation of Dracula not long after. “The key, I think, is movement," he explained. "I saw a movie called Malignant and the director James Wan and the actress [Annabelle Wallis] created this choreography that was terrifying. So I’m hoping to do something like that where Dracula can either glide or move like Sadako in Ringu."

McKay and Kirkman produced the movie with David Alpert (Locke & Key), and Bryan and Sean Furst (Daybreakers).