Renfield: Release Date And Other Things To Know About The Nicolas Cage Dracula Movie

Nicolas Cage with vampire teeth in 1989's Vampire's Kiss
(Image credit: Hemdale Film Corporation)

Over the years, acting legends like Bela Lugosi, Gary Oldman, and the late Christopher Lee have given their own spin on the classic vampire character, Count Dracula, with dozens of other names following in their footsteps. Well, in the spring of 2023, Nicolas Cage will join their ranks when he dons the cape in Renfield, the upcoming horror comedy about the iconic character’s henchman. But, instead of doing his master’s bidding without batting an eye, the new movie from Universal Pictures will see the classic literary character go in a new direction.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Renfield, besides seeing that picture of Cage in full costume that circulated in early 2022, worry not, fearless vampire killer, because we’re about to break down everything there is to know about the movie, including its release date, cast, story, tone, and other tidbits of information you won’t want to miss.

Nicolas Cage in Prisoners of the Ghostland

(Image credit: RLJE Films)

Renfield Will Be Released On April 14, 2023

Universal Pictures is going to have quite a busy theatrical slate in the coming year with movies like the upcoming Fast X and the star-studded Oppenheimer serving as just two of the major tent poles holding up the studio’s big 2023 plans. Well, you can add Renfield to that list, as the Dracula comedy (which boasts a stacked cast of its own) is currently slated to be released theatrically on April 14, 2023, per Deadline. The 2023 movie schedule keeps getting better by the day (or night if you’re a vampire), and we’re still months away at this point.

The Renfield cast

(Image credit: Lionsgate; Hulu; Comedy Central; Apple TV+)

The Renfield Cast Includes Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, And More

When the movie opens in theaters in April 2023 it will feature a rather outstanding Renfield cast of Hollywood A-listers and actors who have been on the rise the past few years. Although Nicolas Cage’s Count Dracula has been getting a lot of attention since his casting was first announced, the main character in the movie, the titular Renfield, will be played by Nicholas Hoult, star of the more recent X-Men movies and the high-octane action thrill ride that was Mad Max: Fury Road.

The other members of the Renfield cast are just as impressive, with Awkwafina, of Crazy Rich Asians and Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings fame, playing Rebecca Quincy, a traffic cop who catches the eye of Dracula’s assistant. Ben Schwartz, who most recently voiced the blue speedster in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, will appear in a supporting role. Adrian Martinez (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Punisher), Bess Rouss (Murder in the First), James Moses Black (Snowfall), and Caroline Williams (The Mentalist) are all slated to appear as well.

nux nicholas hoult mad max fury road

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Renfield Follows Dracula’s Lackey As He Leaves His Master To Find Love

As mentioned above, Renfield will focus less on Count Dracula and more on his longtime lackey who finally takes a stand after suffering at his master’s hand for centuries. In January 2022, Deadline reported that the 2023 Universal Pictures monster movie will follow Nicholas Hoult’s Renfield as he finds a new lease on life after meeting and falling in love (much like his character in Warm Bodies) with traffic cop Rebecca Quincy, Awkwafina’s feisty character. Not much else has been revealed about the plot at this point, but expect to find out more as we get closer to its release, especially when a trailer eventually arrives.

A ravaged Miami Beach in The Tomorrow War.

(Image credit: Skydance/Paramount/Prime Video)

The Tomorrow War Director Chris McKay Is Directing Renfield

Back in April 2021, when details about Renfield were scant at best, Deadline reported that the upcoming horror comedy would be directed by Chris McKay, who helmed the Chris Pratt led sci-fi action thriller, The Tomorrow War, which was released later that year. Prior to the Amazon original movie, McKay directed The Lego Batman Movie and 2wks, 1yr. He also served as a writer, director, and producer on a number of Adult Swim stop-motion animation programs throughout his career, including Robot Chicken, Moral Orel, and Titan Maximum.

The same Deadline report also pointed out that Renfield is based on a story written Robert Kirkman, the creative force behind The Walking Dead and Invincible, both the comics and TV adaptations. Longtime Community and Rick and Morty scribe Ryan Ridley wrote the screenplay.

Nicolas Cage in Mandy

(Image credit: RLJE Films)

Robert Kirkman Has Described Renfield As An ‘Extremely Violent Comedy’

Anyone familiar with Robert Kirkman’s work, whether it be his comics or various TV projects, knows he has a knack for comedy and violence, and has crafted his own unique style over the years. Well, it sounds like Renfield will be no different, considering what the visionary writer told Kevin Smith on the FatMan Beyond podcast in May 2021:

We’re doing this cool movie for Universal that’s like a focus on Renfield where it’s a story about him being Dracula’s henchman and how shitty a job that is and so it’s a fun, extremely violent comedy because I’ve got a crutch and it’s violence.

And, with all the crazy ways Kirkman has killed off The Walking Dead characters and made the lives of others a living hell over the years (while still being funny at times), it sounds like we’re in for quite a treat come April 2023.

Ben Schwartz on The Afterparty

(Image credit: Apple TV)

Production Has Already Wrapped On Renfield

The buzz surrounding Renfield reached a fever pitch in March 2022 when it was revealed that production on the upcoming Nicolas Cage movie was well underway, but come on, it was mostly due to those incredible on-set photos People published (the images of Cage as Count Dracula are absolutely incredible). Even more good news came about a month later when Ben Schwartz shared on-set image on his Instagram page saying filming had wrapped on the upcoming horror movie:

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A photo posted by on

Judging by the glowing remarks the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 star made in the caption accompanying the photo, it sounds like the shoot was a great way to spend a short amount of time in New Orleans.

Annabelle Wallis sits with back against door holding a bloody hand up

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Nicolas Cage Took Inspiration From Malignant And Ringu When Preparing For Renfield

With Nicolas Cage playing Count Dracula in Renfield, you would think the Academy Award winner would draw inspiration from the greats who have played the role in the past, but Cage (being Cage and all) wanted to try something different and give audiences a unique version of the character. When speaking on Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast in January 2022, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent star revealed that he took inspiration from some less-than-obvious sources:

I was like, ‘What can I bring that will be different?’ Because I want it to pop in a unique way. We’ve seen it played not so well, so what can we do? And 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 his movement and voice.

How Cage incorporates those non-Dracula inspirations into his character remain to be seen, but they sound interesting nonetheless.

Expect to hear a lot more about Renfield as we get closer to its April 14, 2023 release date. In the meantime, make sure to get all caught up with the rest of the upcoming horror movies coming to theaters and streaming services in the near future.

Philip Sledge
Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.