Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult and Awkwafina bring Dracula into the present day in these exclusive Renfield images

(Image credit: Universal)

By their very nature, underlings never really get enough credit. Overshadowed by their frequently horrible bosses, the minion is, inescapably, subservient to a more important figure.

Take R.M. Renfield. Count Dracula’s manservant has been lurking in the shadows since appearing in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. Despite appearing in a number of Dracula adaptations, with memorable portrayals by Klaus Kinski and Tom Waits, Renfield has never really been a household name. But, a new movie spin on the Dracula mythos is set to change that, as Nicholas Hoult plays Drac’s beleaguered assistant. In a genius piece of casting, Nicolas Cage plays the Count.

Renfield – directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, The Lego Batman Movie), written by Ryan Ridley and based on an original idea by Robert Kirkman – sees the titular character tormented by his time under the thumb of his relentless master, and desperate to escape the toxic dynamic he’s been trapped with. In modern day New Orleans, the superpowered Renfield falls for cop Rebecca (Awkwafina) and decides to make a break from his bloodthirsty boss.

Renfield is on the cover of the new issue of Total Film magazine, and while it plays with the legacy of Universal’s classic monster, it promises to be an original horror comedy unlike much else you’ll see this year. Here you can see exclusive images from the new Total Film, including Cage in Dracula mode (above), as well as Hoult and Awkwafina in New Orleans:


(Image credit: Universal)


(Image credit: Universal)

With Universal’s biggest, oldest, most venerated supervillain back on the table, there were no limitations on where he might be able to go next. "Robert Kirkman [from The Walking Dead] reached out to me with an idea," says screenwriter Ridley, fresh off Community and Rick and Morty. "The moment I heard it I knew what this movie was going to be. This was a superhero blockbuster that wasn’t beholden to any other franchises. This is a much weirder souffle than anyone’s expecting. It’s an action horror and it’s a workplace comedy. It’s a Dracula movie about Renfield.”

Renfield opens in cinemas on April 14. For much more from Cage, Hoult, Awkwafina, Ridley and McKay on reinventing a classic movie monster, grab a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine when it hits shelves (and digital newsstands) this Thursday, March 2. Check out the covers below:

Total Film's Renfield covers.

(Image credit: Universal/Total Film)

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(Image credit: Total Film)
Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.