Chris McKay Explains How Renfield Is a Sequel to 1931’s Dracula

Universal first launched what would become known as its monster franchise with Count Dracula in 1931 with Dracula. The film’s two initial sequels – 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter and 1943’s Son of Dracula – did not feature Dracula or his servant, Renfield. Next month, Renfield will serve as a soft reboot and a direct sequel to Dracula. Director Chris McKay explained to Collider why the addition of the Count and Renfield makes his film the true sequel to Dracula.

“I kept telling marketing that that’s what we should say, that this is the only direct sequel,” McKay said. “I guess you could argue Dracula’s Daughter is a sequel because the opening scene is the aftermath of the Tod Browning movie, but Bela Lugosi’s not in it. It’s a whole different set of characters. And it’s a great movie. It’s wild if you haven’t seen it. I thought the movie was great.

“But to me, this is the only real direct sequel with the Dracula and the Renfield of that movie,” McKay continued. “So yeah, I wish they’d use that in the marketing. I think that would’ve been a funny way of positioning this movie. The longest time between the original movie and the sequel, beating Psycho, or whatever.”

Unlike Dracula, McKay’s film will be told through the eyes of Dracula’s lackey, Renfield, played by Nicholas Hoult. Renfield is a break-up movie as the servant tries to separate from Nicolas Cage’s Count Dracula and end his one-sided relationship.

“I fell in love with the character of Renfield and his relationship with Dracula,” McKay said. “Renfield is basically a guy who wants to get out of this bad relationship, and doesn’t know how—he’s been in this relationship for 93 years, and he wants to get out of it. I looked at this as an opportunity, because it has a lot of black comedy in it, there’s a lot of action in it, and there’s a little bit of suspense and drama in it too. So that, to me, seemed like a real fun combination.”

Renfield hits theaters on April 14.

Are you excited to see McKay tackle these iconic characters in Renfield? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Recommended Purchase: Dracula (Deluxe Hardbound Edition)

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