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SYFY WIRE Vampires

'Renfield': Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult vampire comedy scores R-rating

Renfield will sink its fangs into theaters everywhere Friday, April 14.

By Josh Weiss
Nicholas Hoult; Nicolas Cage

Get ready for Nicolas Cage to draw some serious blood as Count Dracula in Renfield. Director Chris McKay seemingly confirmed on Twitter — retweeting a post from film critic Scott Weinberg — that the vampire horror-action-comedy will be rated R for "bloody violence, some gore, language throughout, and some drug use." Wait, do undead creatures of the night have a use for narcotics? We'll find out when Universal Pictures releases the project in April.

Based on an original story from The Walking Dead and Invincible mastermind Robert Kirkman, the film stars Nicholas Hoult (The Menu) as Drac's right-hand man, who realizes he no longer wants to serve the most famous blood-sucker in history. McKay — who is known for helming The LEGO Batman Movie and The Tomorrow War — described the flick as a story about "co-dependency" and "bad bosses" during an interview with SYFY WIRE in Summer 2021.

Just last month, the filmmaker teased Cage's novel interpretation of Dracula, citing The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and, more perplexingly, The Graduate, as major influences on the actor's vampiric performance. Again, we have many questions ...

“The key, I think, is movement," Cage said earlier this year. "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."

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 cast of supporting players. McKay and Kirkman are producers on the movie with David Alpert (Locke & Key), and Bryan and Sean Furst (Daybreakers). Rick and Morty alum Ryan Ridley wrote the screenplay. The project marks a reunion for Hoult and Cage, who previously starred alongside one another in 2005's The Weather Man, in which Hoult played Cage's son.

“To get to work with him whilst he was playing Dracula, I don’t think there’s two more iconic things than Dracula and Nic Cage,” Hoult stated during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in November. “As a person, he’s such a pure soul to be around, and I’m excited for people to see what he’s done. It’s original, but it’s steeped in a lot of history, Dracula history and folklore. So it’s exciting, even though it’s a very bizarre, elevated tone for an action-comedy."

Renfield will sink its fangs into theaters everywhere Friday, April 14. Principal photography wrapped this past spring.

Need more blood-sucking drama in your life? The first season of Vampire Academy is now streaming on Peacock.