Nicolas Cage wants to show audiences a fresh take on Dracula.
Speaking on “Variety’s Awards Circuit” podcast, the actor talked about his upcoming role as the fanged fiend in “Renfield”, which is loosely based on Bram Stoker’s 1987 novel Dracula.
Dracula has previously been portrayed by Bela Lugosi in the 1931 black-and-white film, Gary Oldman in the Francis Ford Coppola 1992 film, Frank Langella in 1979, Christopher Lee in 1958, Gerard Butler in 2000 and many others.
“I want it to pop in a unique way from how we’ve seen it played. So I’m thinking to really focus on the movement of the character,” Cage revealed. “You know, I saw ‘Malignant’ and I thought what she did with those moves — and even ‘Ringu’ with Sadako. I want to look at what we can explore with this movement and voice.”
In the 2021 horror slasher “Malignant”, the monster — who is portrayed at various times by Marina Mazepa and Annabelle Wallis — evokes a strange twitchy movement, as does Rie Ino’o’s Sadako in the iconic 1998 ghost film “Ringu”.
The 57-year-old actor isn’t looking to only make a scary film, however. He’s hoping audiences will find it funny as well.
“What makes it super fun is that it’s a comedy. And when you get that tone right — comedy and horror — like ‘American Werewolf in London’, it’s a blast,” said Cage. “It’s got to be a bullseye. But that’s what I’m looking for, something new to bring to the character and also that perfect tone of comedy and horror.”
Cage is a veteran actor in the industry with a variety of accolades under his belt, including an Oscar for the 1996 film “Leaving Las Vegas”, but he doesn’t like to consider himself an “actor”.
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“For me it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar,'” he added. “So with the risk of sounding like a pretentious a**hole, I like the word ‘thespian’ because thespian means you’re going into your heart or you’re going into your imagination or your memories or your dreams, and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience.”
“Renfield” is directed by “The Tomorrow War” director Chris McKay and stars Nicholas Hoult in the role of Dracula’s henchman. The film is in the early stages of pre-production.