Robert Kirkman: Universal’s Renfield is an ‘Extremely Violent Comedy’

In a recent appearance on Kevin Smith’s Fat Man Beyond, Invincible creator Robert Kirkman has opened up about Universal Pictures’ upcoming Renfield movie, which is one of the many monster projects currently in development. Kirkman, who is serving as a producer on the project, has confirmed that Renfield is being developed as a comedy with a heavy dose of violence, which fans will find somewhat similar to his popular animated series on Amazon Prime.

“We’re doing this cool movie for Universal that’s a focus on Renfield,” Kirkman said. “It’s a story about him being Dracula’s henchman and how shitty a job that is. It’s a fun, extremely violent comedy because I’ve got a crutch, and it’s violence.”

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Last month, it was revealed that The Tomorrow War director Chris McKay had entered negotiations to helm the film for Universal Pictures. Before that, Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Dexter Fletcher was previously attached to direct more than a year ago, and it’s still unknown why the deal with Fletcher didn’t push through. Plot details for Renfield are being kept under wraps, but it is said to be set during the present day.

The project will be based on an original pitch from The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman and was written by Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty). The film will be produced by Skybound Entertainment’s Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst.

In the original 1897 Dracula novel, R.M. Renfield was an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was thought to be suffering from delusions but is actually a servant of Dracula. The role was originated memorably in the 1931 movie by Dwight Frye, followed by Tom Waits in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula, then Peter MacNicol in the Mel Brooks parody Dracula: Dead and Loving It, and by Samuel Barnett on the TV series Penny Dreadful.

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The Renfield film is part of Universal’s growing list of upcoming monster projects, including Elizabeth Banks’ Invisible Woman, Matt Stawki’s Monster Mash, Karyn Kusama’s Dracula, the Ryan Gosling-led Wolfman film, David Keopp’s long-gestated The Bride of Frankenstein reboot, Josh Cooley’s Little Monsters film, Blumhouse’s The Thing adaptation, the James Wan-produced Van Helsing movie, and an untitled monster thriller from Phil Lord and Chris Miller.


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