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“RENFIELD” getting his own movie from Universal, Robert Kirkman et al.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

Long a henchman to Dracula, R.M. Renfield will be the center of a new film from Skybound Entertainment and Universal Pictures.

Variety reports that Dexter Fletcher, who scored this past summer with the Elton John biopic ROCKETMAN, will direct RENFIELD. Skybound’s Robert Kirkman, who gave zombies a new lease on undeath with his WALKING DEAD comics, came up with the original pitch for the project, which was scripted by RICK AND MORTY’s Ryan Ridley. The story is currently under wraps, though apparently it will be a modern-day take on the character, who in Bram Stoker’s DRACULA and numerous film adaptations is a mental-hospital inmate who likes to snack on insects and falls under the sway of the vampire count. (He’s been played on screen by Dwight Frye in the Bela Lugosi DRACULA, pictured above, Klaus Kinski in Jess Franco’s COUNT DRACULA, Tom Waits in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA and for laughs by Arte Johnson in LOVE AT FIRST BITE and Peter MacNicol in DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT.)

RENFIELD is part of Universal’s initiative to create a series of individual updates of its classic characters, after its first attempt at a Dark Universe of interconnected films, the Tom Cruise-starring THE MUMMY, came up short. First in the new lineup is Leigh Whannell’s THE INVISIBLE MAN, which appears February 28, and Paul Feig is also working on a secret project for the loose franchise. Kirkman, meanwhile, has been attached to Universal’s long-mooted reboot of AN AMERIAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, to be helmed by Max Landis.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.