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3/10/2022 • 4 min read
Younger generations of movie fans might know Dracula more from the HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA movies than from any of the bloodsucker's live-action movies. While vampires themselves have never gone out of style, the king of all vampires has spent almost a decade slumbering in his coffin, at least as far as movie appearances go.
Time for the old guy to wake up! By the end of 2023, two major new movies — RENFIELD and THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER — will have brought the most famous Transylvanian back into the public consciousness in a big way. Let’s check them out.
Want to get excited about RENFIELD? Here's the lowdown on this new Dracula movie: Nicolas Cage plays Count Dracula. If you need to hear more than that, maybe skip down to read about THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER. Cage went famously over the top to play who thought he was a thirsty immortal, in VAMPIRE'S KISS, but now he gets to be the real thing.
In fact, there’s much more to RENFIELD than Cage's role! For starters, as you might have guessed from the title, the film isn’t focused on Dracula. Instead, that honor goes to his assistant Renfield, played here by Nicholas Hoult. That’s right, two Nicks (or a Nic and a Nick) for the price of one.
The movie is described as a horror/comedy in which Renfield decides that his days of helping Dracula murder people are over after he falls in love with a traffic cop played by Awkwafina. Obviously, Dracula is going to have a problem with this. Along with Cage, Hoult, and Awkwafina, RENFIELD will also feature SONIC THE HEDGEHOG’s Ben Schwarz as a mobster. So there are mobsters and monsters in this one.
The film is directed by Chris McKay, who cut his teeth on shows like ROBOT CHICKEN before jumping to film by directing THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE and THE TOMORROW WAR. Even more impressive, the original story comes from the mind of THE WALKING DEAD and INVINCIBLE creator Robert Kirkman, a guy who seems to possess a golden pen for genre work.
But beyond all that… Nicolas Cage as Dracula. That's an automatic must-see. RENFIELD opens on April 14, 2023.
While RENFIELD probably provides 2023 with its highest-profile Dracula project, there is one more to go: THE LAST VOYAGE OF DEMETER, opening on August 11, 2023.
This film zooms in on just one chapter from Bram Stoker's original "Dracula" novel. Specifically, it focuses on the bit where Dracula ships himself by sea from Carpathia to London, eating sailors as he goes. He's so hungry that the ship arrives completely empty and unmanned.
Which is to say THE LAST VOYAGE OF DEMETER is going to give us a bit of Dracula-flavored slasher action decidedly different in tone from the fun antics of RENFIELD.
If that synopsis doesn’t make the distinction clear, the film’s director will. André Øvredal is quickly becoming a king of cinematic horror thanks to movies like SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, TROLL HUNTER, and THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE. Furthermore, Dracula himself will be played by the scariest actor of all time: Javier Botet, whose tall, slim physical presence you might remember from IT, THE CONJURING 2, and THE SLENDER MAN. This Dracula will not be messing around.
So there you have it. One year, two very different Draculas, and a multitude of liquid meals.
All images courtesy of Universal Pictures.
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