As Universal continues to revive its classic monsters, several different titles have been announced. One such title is Renfield, a movie focused on Dracula’s bug-eating minion. And according to producer Robert Kirkman, Renfield is going to be a bit different from the other upcoming Universal movies. For one thing, it’s being described as an “extremely violent comedy.”
After the Dark Universe crashed and burned, it looked like Universal was truly clueless about what to do with its classic monsters. Then came Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man. The film was a big hit with audiences and critics alike, and it showed that you could bring these characters into the modern era if you hired someone who knows what they’re doing.
Since The Invisible Man hit theaters, Universal has announced several different monster-related projects. There’s a new Dracula from Karyn Kusama; there’s The Invisible Woman from Elizabeth Banks; Ryan Gosling is starring in a new take on The Wolfman, which is being directed by Invisible Man helmer Leigh Whannell; Paul Feig’s Dark Army, which is said to feature classic Universal monsters; The Monster Mash, which is a musical that we don’t know much about just yet; an untitled film produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller starring Channing Tatum; and more.
Another one of the titles is Renfield, a Dracula-adjacent film focused on the bug-eating lunatic who has a connection with Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel, and who was played memorably by Dwight Frye in the 1931 Dracula movie and Tom Waits in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Renfield is a memorable, but minor, character, which means he’s going to need some fleshing out for his own movie.
The Tomorrow War filmmaker Chris McKay is in talks to direct the Renfield movie, with Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley tackling the script. The idea for the film came from a pitch by Robert Kirkman, who is also producing the film. During an appearance on Kevin Smith’s Fat Man Beyond (via Coming Soon), Kirkman shed some more light on what we can expect from the movie.
“We’re doing this cool movie for Universal that’s a focus on Renfield,” Kirkman said. “It’s a story about him being Dracula’s henchman and how shitty a job that is. It’s a fun, extremely violent comedy because I’ve got a crutch, and it’s violence.”
A comedy about Renfield being shitty at his job as Dracula’s henchman is a pretty damn funny idea, and my interest in this has just risen considerably. I also like knowing that Universal is willing to be flexible with these films, and not force them all into one mold – some can be horror, some can be comedies, some can be musicals. You’re dealing with supernatural monsters – the sky’s the limit here. Go nuts!
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