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Nicolas Cage to play Dracula, Nicholas Hoult's boss from Transylvanian hell, in Renfield

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In what could be the strangest or greatest bit of casting in quite some time, Nicolas Cage will play Dracula, noted vamp about town, in Renfield, a monster movie about the legendary bloodsucker's titular henchman.

Nicholas Hoult is on board to play Renfield in the Universal Pictures project, with Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, The Lego Batman Movie) in the director's chair. Ryan Ridley (Ghosted, Rick & Morty) wrote the script, based on an original story outline from Robert Kirkman, the comic book scribe behind The Walking Dead and Invincible.

The character Renfield first appeared in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, where he's an inmate at an insane asylum, locked away for his obsession with eating living flies, spiders, and birds in an attempt to prolong his life. Turns out he's under the influence of (surprise!) Dracula, who sways him into his service with the promise of an unending smorgasbord of vermin to feed his bloody appetite.

Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage

Michael Kovac/Getty Images Nicolas Cage

Renfield has been portrayed in adaptations of Stoker's most enduring character as long as Dracula himself, from Bela Lugosi's immortal 1931 film to the 2020 BBC One Dracula miniseries, but he's always had to play second fiddle to old fangs.

And fun fact: Renfield syndrome is another term for clinical vampirism, that is, an obsession with drinking blood. With that kind of influence on the culture, it's about time Renfield gets some cinematic love.

Hoult, no stranger to pale dudes with addictive personalities (long live Mad Max: Fury Road), is solid casting, but Cage, perhaps the preeminent scene-chewer of his generation — now that's inspired.

If Cage taps into the creepy intensity on display in such films as… all of them, we could all be having a frightful good time when Renfield sinks its teeth into the movie-viewing public.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported Cage's casting.

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