“Oh, very well,” he said,”let her come in, by all means, but just wait a minute till I tidy up the place.”
His method of tidying was peculiar, he simply swallowed all the flies and spiders in the boxes before I could stop him. It was quite evident that he feared, or was jealous of, some interference. When he had got through his disgusting task, he said cheerfully, “Let the lady come in,”
– Bram Stoker, Dracula
Wild-haired director Dexter Fletcher is going from ROCKETMAN to henchman after striking a deal to direct RENFIELD for Universal Pictures. The newly-announced project will revolve around Dracula’s henchman and is based on an original pitch from THE WALKING DEAD creative Robert Kirkman.
Hailing from the original “Dracula” novel by Bram Stoker, Renfield was an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was thought to be suffering from delusions, but what the doctors didn’t know is that he was in truth a servant of Dracula. As a byproduct of Renfield’s psychosis, he consumes living insects in the hope of obtaining their life force, and lengthening his own as a result of the consumption. He begins by eating flies, but soon develops a taste for larger insects and animals, believing that with each animal consumed, he’s one step closer to immortality.
For the moment, plot details for RENFIELD are being kept under wraps, though it’s to be believed that the film will take place in the present day.
Prior to today’s RENFIELD announcement, Blumhouse had revealed a trailer for Leigh Whannell‘s THE INVISIBLE MAN starring Elisabeth Moss. Set for a 2020 debut, the aforementioned film focuses on Cecilia (Moss), who’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her a vast fortune, though she suspects that his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see. Whannell’s upcoming horror film is Universal’s newest attempt at introducing audience members to reinvigorated versions of their classic movie monster lineup. Previously, Universal tried and failed to launch their Dark Universe initiative, which would have involved an interconnected universe starring their group of monster mash icons. After a dismal reception to the concept, Universal abandoned their original plans, and allowed for other filmmakers to pitch their wild ideas.
RENFIELD will mark Fletcher’s return to genre filmmaking after helming two musical biopics, beginning with BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, on which he replaced Bryan Singer after the X-Men alum was fired midway through the filming process. Fletcher then directed the spirited Elton John biopic ROCKETMAN, which stars Taron Egerton as the Pinball Wizard himself. ROCKETMAN had grossed $195.1 million at the worldwide box office during its time in theaters, and is in conversation for this year’s awards.
Having just watched BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and ROCKETMAN back-to-back, I must admit that I’m intrigued by the idea of Fletcher helming a Renfield-focused film. The character is creepy as hell, and if written with care by RICK AND MORTY scribe Ryan Ridley, we could be in for one hell of a psychological horror film. One thing’s for sure, there are bound to be plenty of bugs. Bon Appétit, my friends!