Nicolas Cage To Sink His Teeth Into The Role Of Dracula In Universal's Renfield

Despite all his rage, he is still just a Drac in a cage. Actor Nicolas Cage has spent his professional career skating up to the edge of madness and doing cartwheels, and so the logical next step in the "Pig" actor's evolution had to be something magnificent. This is the gentleman who went on a drug-fueled axe-killing spree against a hippie cult in Panos Cosmatos' "Mandy," after all. He's swapped faces with John Travolta. He's stolen the Declaration of Independence (for the greater good, you understand). He's even (sort of) played a bloodsucker in "Vampire's Kiss" — you could say he's been prepping for this role since 1989. And now, he's putting on the cape as Count Dracula.

In a deal reported first by The Hollywood Reporter, Cage will be coming back to studio movies with the role of Dracula in Universal Pictures' "Renfield," a spin-off of Bram Stoker's 1897 epistolary horror novel "Dracula." The creature feature has Nicholas Holt starring as the titular fly-eating minion of the Count, and is directed by Chris McKay, he of "Robot Chicken" and "The Lego Batman Movie" fame. Samantha Nisenboim has an executive producer credit, while McKay produces alongside "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman and David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst. Kirkman wrote the original story outline, and Ryan Ridley ("Rick and Morty") is penning the script.

Welcome to the House of Cage

In Stoker's novel, Count Dracula is described as being tall and old, and "clean shaven, save for a long white mustache and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of color about him anywhere." The o.g. Count had frizzy hair, unruly eyebrows, and generally looked nothing like the hot Dracs we get today. It's doubtful that McKay would drown Cage in prosthetics and hairpieces — all the better for the Oscar-winning actor to spread his wings. Christopher Lee didn't need more than a pair of fangs and some pomade, and Cage carries his own gravity such that he, like Lee, needs little to help sell the role.

It's similar to my first thought upon hearing that the perpetually wan-looking Nicholas Hoult was cast in the title role of the perpetually weak but wild Renfield: it's perfect casting because he naturally looks like the ghost of a Victorian boy who died of consumption, just dab any shine on his forehead and you're ready to film. Nick Hoult tag-teaming with Nic Cage, "Renfield" is already off to a strong start and has me bloodthirsty.

It'll be a treat to see what music these children of the night make.