Renfield, the upcoming Dracula spinoff from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and director Chris McKay, will be an "extremely violent comedy," according to Kirkman. During an appearance on Fat Man Beyond with Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin, the Invincible creator talked briefly about Renfield, in the context of a joke about how often he uses violence as a storytelling device. Not many details have been made available about the film so far, so the little bit that Kirkman revealed is about as much as we've heard since it went into development with Universal, who are looking to expand their Universal Monsters film line.
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. McKay's ability to blend action and comedy was a big reason why he was brought on as director.
"We're doing this cool movie for Universal that's a focus on Renfield," Kirkman said. "It's a story about him being Dracula's henchman, and how shitty a job that is. It's a fun, extremely violent comedy, because I've got a crutch and it's violence."
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, although previous reports have previously said that the film 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 the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind Marvel's The Eternals, Chloe Zhao, will be helming the other.