RENFIELD (2022) Preview – “Thespian” Nicolas Cage says ‘Malignant’ will inspire his Dracula!

Nicolas Cage has a fanged fixation in Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

Renfield is a 2022 American comedy horror film about the character of Count Dracula’s servant R.M. Renfield, based on Bram Stoker‘s novel.

Directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War; The Lego Batman Movie) it had already been announced that British actor Nicholas Hoult (Jack the Giant Slayer; Warm Bodies) would be playing the titular character and now The Hollywood Reporter says “[i]n a deal sealed with a vampire’s kiss, Cage is returning to a big-studio movie and will play the meaty role of Dracula in Universal Pictures’ monster movie Renfield.”

Furthermore, in a recent chat with Variety, Cage has discussed his approach to playing Count Dracula, saying:

“I looked at Bela Lugosi’s performance, and then I looked at Frank Langella’s performance. I looked at Gary’s [Oldman] performance in uncle’s movie, which I think it’s just so sumptuous. Every frame is a work of art. I want it to pop in a unique way from how we’ve seen it played. So I’m thinking to really focus on the movement of the character. You know, I saw Malignant, and I thought what she did with those moves — and even Ringu with Sadako [Yamamura] … I want to look at what we can explore with this movement and voice.”

Meanwhile, during a recent episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast, Nicolas Cage explained his aversion to being referred to as an “actor”.

“I really don’t like the word ‘actor.’ For me, it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar,’” Cage explained. “With the risk of sounding like a pretentious a-hole, I like the word ‘thespian’ because to me thespian means you’re going into your heart, or you’re going into your imagination, or your memories or your dreams, and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience.”

“What early shamans would do is go into flights of imagination to find answers to help their village,” he continued. “I like looking at it like that, with the risk of sounding completely absurd and ridiculous. I like the idea of it being something a little more organic and less artificial.”

Aside from Renfield, Cage also stars in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, an upcoming action-comedy – due out on April 22nd 2022 – in which he plays a fictionalized version of his “thespian” self. We can only assume (hope) he’s joking about being referred to as a “thespian” as part of the pre-publicity for his Massive Talent role.


It has also been confirmed that Awkwafina (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings)  has signed onto being in Renfield.

McKay is also a co-producer, alongside Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst. Renfield is being described as “a modern-day adventure story that is comedic in tone.” Ryan Ridley (Ghosted; Rick and Morty) wrote the screenplay, based on an original story outline by aforementioned Robert Kirkman. The character of Renfield is infamous for eating bugs in a lunatic asylum cell and is most closely associated in the past with actor Dwight Frye.

The movie is already in pre-production for a 2022 release.

Nicolas Cage infamously played a yuppie publisher who thinks he’s a vampire in Vampire’s Kiss (1988). Like Renfield, Cage actually ate a live cockroach during the movie!

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