news Nicolas Cage: ‘Renfield’ Turns Dracula Into a ‘Warhol’-Esque Figure

For his next career transformation, Nicolas Cage is looking to become the Andy Warhol of the undead.

Academy Award winner Cage teased upcoming dark comedy “Renfield” in a new cover story for Empire magazine. Cage stars as a modern day Dracula, whose servant Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) dreams of breaking free from his eternal tutelage under the undead bloodsucker. Renfield crosses paths with a traffic cop (Awkwafina) and mobsters, played by Ben Schwartz and Shohreh Aghdashloo. Chris McKay helms the Universal Pictures film, which is set to premiere April 14, 2023.

“When I got a sense of where McKay wanted to go, I realized the movie has a comedic, pop art attitude,” Cage told Empire. “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 called on original vampire masterpiece “Nosferatu” for inspiration. “I noticed all these little gestures that are, by today’s standards, ‘over the top’,” Cage explained. “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.”

He added, “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.”

The “Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” star previously said he was drawing on inspirations like James Wan’s “Malignant” for a “terrifying” choreography as Dracula. “I’m hoping to do something like that where Dracula can either glide or move like Sadako in ‘Ringu,'” Cage told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year.

Co-star Hoult previously hinted at more of Cage’s inspirations, including Anne Bancroft’s role in “The Graduate.”

“Being in the same room with Nic Cage, I mean that’s a trip,” Hoult said during an interview with BBC Radio 1. “But being in the same room as Nic Cage whilst he’s dressed as Dracula and tormenting you as Dracula and you’re his servant is really some of the most fun I’ve ever had onscreen whilst being tortured. It’s really brilliant.”

Hoult added, “There’s not a full Transylvanian accent but it’s really interesting. He draws from so many fascinating places. He’d be doing a scene. He’d be like, it’s a bit like Anne Bancroft in ‘The Graduate’ in this moment. And you see him just take all these little elements. He loves film, he loves acting and so he’s a wonderful person to be around. He brings so much.”