‘Renfield’: Awkwafina Joins Chris McKay’s Universal Monster Movie!!

While she boasted roles in titles like Bad Rap and Crazy Rich Asians, Awkwafina‘s stock rose exponentially with the release of The Farewell in 2019, in which she enjoyed the lead role of Billi Wang, who decides not to tell her paternal grandmother that she has terminal cancer. 2021 was an even bigger year for hits: in Raya and the Last Dragon, she played co-lead Sisu, also wrangling a lead role in Marvel‘s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Now her future looks even brighter, with a role in Universal‘s upcoming monster movie, Renfield, in the cards, per Deadline.

The film is centered on Dracula’s “familiar henchman,” as Deadline puts it. So: think Guillermo in What We Do in the Shadows, but taller and generally more sinister-looking. She’s set to join Nicholas Hoult as the film’s titular lead, Renfield, and Nicolas Cage, who is reportedly playing Dracula. Unfortunately, there’s no word on what role Awkafina will fill yet: we’re saying a Van Helsing-esque vampire slayer would fit the bill. Just think about all the chic jackets!

Chris McKay, who directed the action-packed sci-fi flick The Tomorrow War, is on board to helm this one, too. The original story outline came from Robert Kirkman, of The Walking Dead fame, with Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty) coming in to write the script. In the original Dracula novel, R.M. Renfield was a guy in a lunatic asylum thought to be deluded but, as it turns out, was actually a servant of Dracula as he claimed to be. The plot of the film is still yet to be revealed, but Deadline reports that it’s “believed to take place in the present day,” as opposed to being a period piece. So no Hugh Jackman Van Helsing cameo, we’re afraid – unless he’s playing himself.

While Universal‘s Dark Universe was put in stasis after the 2017 reboot of The Mummy flopped at the box office, the studio remains committed to mining its extensive back catalog of horror properties for new movies. According to Deadline, “instead of prescribing a mandated updating of these monster stories and making them all part of a larger scheme, the studio loosened these restrictions and open-sourced to filmmakers, who were inspired to create their own unique stories.” Whatever the case, let’s hope it’ll prove a more successful model than the universe schtick.

Renfield does not yet have a release date.


via Collider

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