Renfield is a "direct" sequel to a Dracula movie from almost 100 years ago

(Image credit: Universal)

Renfield director Chris McKay is pretty adamant that the Nicolas Cage-led horror comedy is "the only direct sequel" to Tod Browning's Dracula, which was released way back in 1931. So much so in fact, that he tried to convince the marketing team to advertise the movie as such – but it didn't bite.

"I guess you could argue Dracula's Daughter is a sequel because the opening scene is the aftermath of the Tod Browning movie, but Bela Lugosi's not in it, it's a whole different set of characters," the filmmaker explained in a new interview with Collider. "It's a great movie, it's wild if you haven't seen it. But to me, this is the only real direct sequel with the Dracula and the Renfield of that movie. 

"So yeah, I wish they'd use that in the marketing. I think that would've been a funny way of positioning this movie. The longest time between the original movie and the sequel, beating Psycho or whatever."

Starring Cage as the vampiric Count Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as the titular character, Renfield centers on Dracula's long-suffering lackey, whose passion for life is reignited when he meets, and falls in love with, punchy New Orleans traffic cop Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina). Sonic the Hedgehog's Ben Schwartz also stars as mob enforcer Teddy Lobo.

The first in Universal's Classic Monsters series, which went on to include Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, Browning's Dracula took its inspiration from both Bram Stoker's 1897 novel and Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston's 1924 stage play. It sees the eponymous bloodsucker bend Renfield, a real estate agent, to his will before moving the pair to London and going on a murder spree. 

Renfield releases in US and UK cinemas on April 14. In the meantime, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies coming our way in 2023 and beyond.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.