At least this time, Nicolas Cage will be able chew the scenery with razor-sharp fangs.
The Oscar winner recently was cast as Dracula in Universal Pictures’ upcoming Renfield feature, as reported here in Horror News Network, and the actor this week spoke to Variety about his take on the iconic role and how he is preparing for it.
Cage–famous for his over-emoting acting style–was a surprising choice for the part of the Lord of the Vampires, but he said this is “a really fun and exciting opportunity.” The film, he added, will be “amazing.”
In preparing for the role made famous by the likes of Bela Lugosi (1931) and Frank Langella (1979) on stage and screen, Cage said he has been watching several of the better-known screen adaptations of Bram Stoker’s 1897 Dracula novel.
“I looked at Bela Lugosi’s performance, and then I looked Frank Langella’s performance,” he said. Cage added that he also viewed Gary Oldman’s unique portrayal in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula. “I looked at Gary’s performance, which I think is just so sumptuous,” he said. “Every frame is a work of art.”
Gleaning what he could from those versions, Cage said he wants his portrayal to “pop in a unique way from how we’ve seen it played. So, I’m thinking of really focusing on the movement of the character. I want to look at what we can explore with his movement and his voice.”
Cage also cleared up any uncertainties regarding the tone of the new film–whether it would be played as a straight horror movie or tongue-in-cheek. “What makes it super fun,” he said, “is that it’s a comedy. And when you get that tone right–comedy and horror–like An American Werewolf in London, it’s a blast.”
Renfield–directed by Chris McKay from a screenplay by Ryan Ridley–also stars Nicholas Hoult in the lead role, along with Awkwafina and Ben Schwartz. The film–expected to start shooting in New Orleans in the near future–does not yet have a debut date.
The R.M. Renfield character first appeared in Stoker’s novel as a patient in an asylum who was obsessed with blood (and eating creepy, crawly things) and who becomes Dracula’s lackey in the hope of an immortal life.
Keep reading Horror News Network for further updates on Renfield.