Nicholas Hoult has been cast as the lead in Universal’s monster movie Renfield, which hails from Chris McKay, director of The Tomorrow War and The LEGO Batman Movie.
Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty) wrote the script, which is based on an original story outline from Robert Kirkman (Invincible). Kirkman is also producing the film with his Skybound Entertainment partners David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst as well as McKay, whose producing partner Samantha Nisenboim will serve as an executive producer on the project.
Renfield is a monster movie centered around Dracula’s henchman, R.M. Renfield, who in Bram Stoker‘s original 1897 novel was an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was thought to be suffering from delusions but was actually a servant of the iconic vampire. The character was previously played by Tom Waits in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula movie back in 1992. McKay‘s film is expected to take place in the present-day, much like Leigh Whannell‘s Invisible Man movie starring Elisabeth Moss.
At one point, Universal announced a Dark Universe that would launch with The Mummy, but that Tom Cruise film was poorly received by critics and audiences, forcing the studio to reassess its strategy for its classic movie monsters. Universal remains committed to creating compelling filmmaker-driven projects based on those iconic characters, and to that end, Whannell is developing a new Wolfman movie as a starring vehicle for Ryan Gosling.
Hoult recently starred opposite Angelina Jolie in Taylor Sheridan‘s fiery thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead, and he’ll reprise his role as Elle Fanning‘s dense husband in Season 2 of Hulu‘s The Great. He’s also set to star alongside Anya Taylor-Joy in Searchlight‘s thriller The Menu.
Hoult is likely best known for playing Nux in Mad Max: Fury Road and Beast in the recent crop of X-Men movies, though he has also played several real-life figures, including authors J.R.R. Tolkien and J.D. Salinger as well as inventor Nikola Tesla. The English actor’s other recent credits include The Favourite, The Banker, and True History of the Kelly Gang. He’s represented by UTA, 42, Relevant PR and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson LLP.