Dracula Spinoff Movie Renfield Gets New Director

Universal's Dark Universe franchise may have been a big swing and miss situation, but the studio's next stab at its monster properties continues to get more intriguing. Following the success of The Invisible Man last year, there has been a bigger focus on smaller, director-driven projects, with characters like Wolfman and Dracula set for big screen stories in the future. As it turns out, Universal is also looking to supporting characters, like Dracula's Renfield, for new feature film subjects.

R.M. Renfield, the asylum inmate who was a servant of Dracula in the original Bram Stoker novel, is getting his own movie. According to Deadline, Universal has tapped The Tomorrow War and The LEGO Batman Movie director Chris McKay to helm the new film. Renfield is said to be a more comedic venture than Invisible Man, and McKay's ability to blend action and comedy was a big reason why he was brought on as director.

This Renfield film is based on the classic character as well as an original story outline from Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead and Invincible. The script for Renfield was penned by Ryan Ridley. Kirkman will produce for Skybound Entertainment, along with David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst. McKay's producing partner, Samantha Nisenboim, will serve as executive producer.

There aren't any major plot details available for Renfield just yet, though Deadline reports that it will take place in the modern day. Apparently Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher was in talks to take on the Renfield project, but opted instead to take on Paramount's reboot of The Saint.

Renfield was played by Dwight Frye in the original 1931 Dracula film, which starred Bela Lugosi as the iconic vampire. The role was then played by Tom Waits in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 take on Dracula, appearing opposite Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, and Keanu Reeves.


In addition to Renfield, other monster characters getting the film treatment include Wolfman, the Invisible Woman, and Van Helsing. There are two Dracula movies in development, one of which will be directed by Jennifer's Body and The Invitation filmmaker Karyn Kusama, while Oscar frontrunner Chloe Zhao will be helming the other.

Are you looking forward to seeing a Renfield solo film? What do you think of the choice to have Chris McKay direct? Let us know in the comments!