Nicolas Cage Says Aquaman’s Director Helped Inspire His Dracula

Nicolas Cage credits a DC director for his Dracula inspiration!

By Jason Collins | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

nicolas cage vampire's kiss

Nicolas Cage has shared some details about his portrayal of Dracula in the upcoming monster film Renfield, centered on the same-name character and Count Dracula’s servant — based on the legendary works of Bram Stoker. The actor stated that he wants his rendering to “pop in a unique way,” saying that Aquaman‘s director, James Wan, helped inspire Cage’s iteration of the most iconic bloodsucker.

According to Variety, the Face/Off star wants to make his performance memorable and more unique from how the audience has previously seen the role played. As a fan of Bram Stoker’s work and an enormous fan of the character, Cage went back and watched some of the best-known Dracula performances on film, including Bela Lugosi’s iconic performance from 1931’s Dracula and Frank Langella’s iteration from the same-name film released in 1979. He even drew some inspiration for the character from James Wan’s 2021 horror film Malignant.

Of course, being the true fan of Stoker and his creation, Cage re-watched Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula from 1992, focusing on Gary Oldman’s performance “in uncle’s movie” — The Godfather director is Cage’s uncle. Of course, the actor himself isn’t short on the vampiric experience, considering that he portrayed a vampire in 1989’s Vampire’s Kiss — a horror-comedy flop that developed a cult following more than 30 years since its release. Of course, he wasn’t truly a vampire, but the material has become meme fodder, thanks to Cage’s unique facial expression. The “You Don’t Say” meme.

The upcoming Renfield, centered on Dracula’s noted henchmen, was announced back in November, with Cage starring opposite of Nicholas Hoult from Mad Max: Fury Road. R.M. Renfield draws roots from Stoker’s novel, as an inmate at the asylum believed to be suffering from delusions. However, the source of his trauma actually comes from acting as Dracula’s henchmen. The role has been portrayed before, and most notable performances are those of Tom Waits and Peter MacNicol from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Dracula: Dead and Loving It, respectively.

tom waits renfield

While there aren’t any details regarding the plot, it’s believed that the narrative occurs in the present day, which is unlike other interpretations of the Renfield character. We’ve seen Dracula in modern times, but never his flesh-eating servant. Apparently, this is all part of Universal Pictures’ grand plan to introduce more monster movies, following the success of The Invisible Man, The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling, and an entirely new spin on Van Helsing that’s also in the works.

Other notable appearances, besides Nicolas Cage, are Ben Schwartz, best known for his performance on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, and Nora Lum, aka Awkwafina, best known for her recent performance in MCU’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. The film is directed by Chris McKay, who helmed The Tomorrow War starring Chris Pratt, and The Lego Batman Movie. Cage’s upcoming film aims for a perfect blend between comedy and horror, like American Werewolf In London, which offers a perfectly balanced tone of comedy and fright.