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Renfield trailer revives the vampire genre with a superhero twist

Nicholases Hoult and Cage bring the classic monster to 2023.

Vampires have had a varied history in entertainment. From Bela Lugosi’s classic take on Dracula to Robert Pattinson in Twilight and Matt Berry in What We Do in the Shadows, it’s hard to imagine a fresh take on a genre that’s seemingly explored every element of the scary/sexy/goofy trinity. But maybe the fresh new idea doesn’t take place in the world of vampires, but among their assistants. Just as Guillermo is the breakout star of What We Do in the Shadows, it’s time for the OG vampire’s OG assistant to get his moment in the spotlight.

Renfield, starring Nicholas Hoult and Nicolas Cage, shines that spotlight, then throws a superhero twist onto the stage. Check out the trailer below.

Directed by The Lego Batman Movie and The Tomorrow War’s Chris Mckay Renfield follows Dracula’s assistant (Nicholas Hoult) as he reckons with his toxic workplace relationship with his boss (Nicolas Cage) and takes matters into his own hands by obtaining some vampire-like powers. All this is complicated by a burgeoning romance with a traffic cop (Awkwafina) he meets in modern-day New Orleans.

While the trailer has its share of action, it appears to be a comedy at heart (especially since, if Vampire’s Kiss has taught us anything, any movie where Nicolas Cage plays a vampire has to be a comedy). It looks completely different from any other vampire movie we’ve seen, and it looks good too, so think of it as the anti-Morbius.

With this, the new Interview with a Vampire adaptation, and the continuing success of What We Do in the Shadows, are we entering a new age of vampire obsession? All the teens who consumed Twilight as kids have grown up, and their tastes have grown with them. That doesn’t mean they’re above a goofy vampire comedy; it just means the genre needs to offer something new.

The most intriguing part of Renfield is, by far, the casting. Cage is an icon, and his less-than-nuanced acting style is perfect for a “Lugosi-plus” Dracula who’s big on the whole Transylvania-glam thing. Nicholas Hoult has experience in the “monster rom-com” subgenre thanks to the underseen Warm Bodies, and his humble turn in The Great Season 2 is one of the best comedic-but-romantic acting performances in the last few years.

Cage and Hoult as Dracula and Renfield.


Renfield is entering a genre that’s already chock full of camp, but its self-awareness will be a huge drawing point. It’s a movie that knows what came before it — the Tom Cruises, the sparkly RPatzs, and the multiple long-running CW dramas — and will hopefully use that knowledge to its advantage.

Renfield premieres April 14, 2023.

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