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Nicolas Cage Explains His Warhol-Inspired Approach to Dracula in Renfield

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Nicolas Cage is set to play Dracula in the upcoming Renfield, and while not a whole lot is known about the film, a recent interview will give fans some idea of how Cage is approaching the performance.


Speaking to Empire Magazine, Cage revealed that his portrayal of Dracula will be less of a classic vampire, and more of an Andy Warhol-inspired pop art figure.

“When I got a sense of where McKay wanted to go, I realized the movie has a comedic, pop art attitude,” Cage said of director Chris McKay’s vision. “So I thought: ‘This will be a pop-art Dracula.’ Warhol did a great black-on-black Dracula. This is in that Warhol vein.”

Cage also spoke about his research for the character, harkening back to one of the most original vampire portrayals in cinema, the 1922 film Nosferatu. The actor — who is an avid fan of film and its history — spoke about how actor Max Schreck (who played Count Orlok in the 1922 film) had various gestures that he tried to put in Renfield.

“I noticed all these little gestures that are, by today’s standards, ‘over the top.’ When Max Schreck does that [snaps his wrist and extends his fingers] and puffs into smoke, I was like, ‘What is that? Is it dance? What is he conveying there?’ I said to Chris McKay that I really wanted to find a place to put that in Renfield. I haven’t seen the movie so I don’t know if they kept it, but I tried. It’s a largely studio picture so I wanted to play with: ‘What can I get away with here?’ If you’re playing Dracula, you have a lot of latitude.”

Renfield stars Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), Golden Globe winner Awkwafina (The Farewell), Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (Mandy), Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), Adrian Martinez (Focus), and Bess Rous (Ghostbusters).

It centers around Dracula’s titular henchman, “who has grown sick and tired of the centuries he has worked as the dark prince’s lackey,” reads the synopsis. “He finds a new lease on life when he falls in love for a feisty, perennially angry traffic cop.

Renfield is being directed and produced by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War) from a story based on an original pitch from The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman and was written by Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty). Producers are Skybound Entertainment’s Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst, with McKay’s partner Samantha Nisenboim set as an executive producer.