Nicolas Cage Says His Dracula In Renfield Is Inspired By Gabriel From The Utterly Bonkers Malignant

James Wan's recent "Malignant" is a big, weird, unapologetically bombastic horror extravaganza. Wan tapped into the same kind of gonzo energy present in films like Brian De Palma's "Raising Cain," and created a great new horror movie villain: Gabriel. If you haven't seen "Malignant" just yet, be warned: here come some spoilers. Gabriel is first presented as a kind of supernatural-adjacent slasher, stalking around and brutally murdering people while main character Madison (Annabelle Wallis) suffers horrifying visions of the crimes. Then, Wan reveals a whopper of a twist: Gabriel is Madison's twin brother who shares her body, taking the form of a teratoma. Gabriel's hideous face pokes out of the back of Madison's head, and since he has no physical body of his own, he uses Madison to get around. That means we get a series of scenes where Madison is walking (and running) around backward and occasionally performing parkour for reasons that are never fully explained. It's wild, kids. And while I know "Malignant" wasn't everyone's cup of tea, I genuinely love the film for its audacity. And it looks like I'm not alone here because Nicolas Cage just revealed himself to be a "Malignant" fan. And that's not all. Cage also stated that when he plays Dracula in the upcoming horror-comedy "Renfield," he'll be taking inspiration from Gabriel's unique movements. 

It's Amazing

Nicolas Cage remains one of our most interesting working actors. Yes, he often appears in junk. But most of the time, even if the film itself is lacking, Cage is giving it his all. And every now and then, the Oscar-winner will appear in a genuinely great movie to remind us he's the real deal – the most recent example of this being the excellent "Pig." Cage remains as busy as ever, and one of his several upcoming projects is "Renfield," a horror-comedy inspired by "Dracula." Fans of "Dracula" will recall that Renfield is one of the count's human familiars – a patient at an insane asylum fond of chowing down on bugs. Yum.

Chris McKay is directing the film, with Nicholas Hoult playing the titular character. But let's get real: the real draw of the film is going to be seeing Nicolas Freakin' Cage play Count Dracula. And in true Nic Cage fashion, he plans on bringing something fresh and unique to the role – a role that has been played many, many times before, by many different performers. Speaking with Variety, Cage said of the film: "I can tell you that it's amazing. It's a really fun and exciting opportunity." He also revealed he's been looking at previous Dracula performances, saying: 

"I looked at Bela Lugosi's performance, and then I looked at Frank Langella's performance ... I looked at Gary's performance in uncle's movie, which I think it's just so sumptuous. Every frame is a work of art."

The "Gary" Cage is talking about there is Gary Oldman, and the "uncle' in question is, of course, Cage's uncle Francis Ford Coppola (side-note: I find it very, very amusing that Cage refers to Coppola here as just "uncle" rather than "my uncle").  

The Movement of the Character

"But Chris, when the hell will you talk about beautiful baby boy Gabriel from 'Malignant'?!" you're probably screaming right now. And I understand. I, too, am always screaming about Gabriel from "Malignant." And it looks like Gabriel is going to be serving as inspiration for Cage's take on Dracula. "I want it to pop in a unique way from how we've seen it played," Cage said, continuing: 

"So I'm thinking to really focus on the movement of the character. You know, I saw 'Malignant' and I thought what she did with those moves — and even 'Ringu' with Sadako [Yamamura] ... I want to look at what we can explore with this movement and voice."

Look, if this means Cage is going to walk around and do flips like Gabriel in "Malignant," I am even more excited about this movie than I thought possible. Cage also commented that what makes the film "super fun" is that it's a comedy, adding: 

"And when you get that tone right — comedy and horror — like 'American Werewolf in London,' it's a blast. It's got to be a bulls-eye. But that's what I'm looking for, something new to bring to the character, and also that perfect tone of comedy and horror."

All of this sounds pretty darn great to me, and I can't wait to see "Renfield" whenever it arrives.