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SYFY WIRE Renfield

'Renfield' producer teases 'you have never seen this take on Dracula' for Nic Cage's bloodsucker

The new take on the legendary Count is, according to Skybound executives, a new spin on a classic formula.

By Matthew Jackson
Renfield (2023)

There are a lot of reasons why the internet has made Renfield one of its most-anticipated genre releases of 2023. You've got the comic take on Dracula, the comedy stylings of Nicholas Hoult — who plays the title character, the vampire's servant — and, oh yeah, Nicolas Cage as the notorious Count himself. But according to producers at Skybound Entertainment, there's more going on here than just instantly meme-able trailer moments. They're genuinely trying to do something with Dracula that you've never seen before.

Speaking to Screen Rant about Skybound's new crowd equity financing opportunity and the company's general direction as it continues to expand out from its comic book roots, CEO (and Renfield producer) David Alpert hyped up Renfield as not just a new spin on an old character dynamic, but something relatable that modern audiences will be able to tie to their own lives.

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"We have Renfield coming up in April, and the thing for us with Renfield was you've seen plenty of Dracula stories," Alpert said. "There's been a million Dracula stories. I guarantee you have never seen this take on Dracula, and the notion that Renfield and Dracula are in a co-dependence relationship and that Dracula's the ultimate narcissist. It's one of those things that once you hear it, you're like, 'Ah, of course.' You call somebody a psychic vampire at work. You're like, 'Oh, no, no. He is not only a psychic vampire, he's the vampire.' You play those dynamics. I don't think we've ever really seen that. I think it's always those intersections of something familiar but done in a completely different way that we love."

Dracula is one of the most adapted characters in the history of literature, so we've seen a lot of versions of both him and his supporting cast, including comedic takes and stories that focus a bit more on those around Dracula than the count himself. But it's true that we've never seen a major motion picture that's devoted so squarely to the story of Renfield himself, and the lengths he might go to if he wanted to get away from Dracula at last. It'll be interesting to see if the film turns out to be as refreshing and fun as Alpert said. 

Based on a story idea from Skybound co-founder and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Renfield attempts to tell the story of the ultimate toxic relationship, as a vampire's thrall works hard to get away from the ultimate evil, who also happens to be his boss. The film hits theaters April 14.

Can't wait until April to get your vampire fix? Bram Stoker's Dracula, also known as Dan Curtis' Dracula, is now streaming on Peacock.