Why Nicolas Cage was born to play Dracula

Why Nicolas Cage was born to play Dracula
© PA

Fangs for the memories: Nicolas Cage switches on the Christmas lights in Milsom Street, Bath in 2009.

– PA

Draw the curtains and hide your garlic: Nicolas Cage is going to play Dracula. While production has yet to begin on Renfield – a comic retelling of Bram Stoker’s 1897 vampire novel centred on the Count’s long-suffering lackey RM Renfield – there’s plenty of pedigree around to suggest this is a film worth getting excited about. It’s based on a concept by The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman, the script’s been written by former Rick & Morty writer Ryan Ridley, and it’ll be brought to the screen by Chris McKay, who directed The Tomorrow War and The Lego Batman Movie. On screen, Shang-Chi’s Awkwafina will join a cast that also includes Nicholas Hoult in the titular role, fresh from proving just how outrageously funny he can be in the appropriately named period-comedy The Great.

Still, the most intriguing aspect of the whole project has to be trying to guess what Cage will do with the iconic vampire character. Frankly, it’s almost a surprise he hasn’t played him before. This is, after all, an actor with such a fascination for all things gothic that he already has his own pyramid-shaped tomb waiting for him in New Orleans’ St Louis Cemetery No 1, near the final resting place of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. In recent years, Cage has built a superbly idiosyncratic body of independent film work, with both an acclaimed performance as a grief-stricken truffle forager in Pig and a turn as a bank robber with bombs strapped to his testicles in Prisoners of the Ghostland released in just the last 12 months. Early next year, he’ll be seen playing an amped-up version of himself in meta-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – quite literally the part he was born to play.

Universal’s Renfield will be Cage’s first major studio movie since 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and it’ll see him take on another role he’s been waiting a lifetime to play. As a child, Cage was obsessed with the 1922 German silent film Nosferatu, one of the earliest film adaptations of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, and he incorporated that film’s exaggerated silent acting style into one of the strangest and most compelling films of his career: 1989 indie horror Vampire’s Kiss.

Reminds me of that Nic Cage “You don’t say” scene. pic.twitter.com/U7SlGwFBYy

— Carl F. (@oushadow) June 14, 2016

Even if you haven’t seen Vampire’s Kiss, you’re certain to recognise at least one scene from it. Cage’s over-the-top, expressionist performance in the film launched a thousand memes, most notably an image of his bug-eyed, condescending expression given the caption “You don’t say?” The film is about a womanising Manhattan literary agent who believes he’s been transformed into a vampire by a bite from one of his dates. Cage, directly influenced by his love of Nosferatu, played the role with a deliberately exaggerated acting style that now makes it perfect for memes – just as it was once perfect for silent movies.

The acting style Cage developed on Vampire’s Kiss continues to echo through his work to this day. Earlier this year, talking to IMDb about the roles that had changed his life, Cage explained that while making the film, he was “trying to marry my fascination with silent film with modern film performance”. It was an experiment, he said, adding: “That’s really what it is for me, having those experiments and then trying to apply them again, almost like a laboratory. Using independent cinema and then trying to see if you can apply it to a big blockbuster. A lot of the work I discovered in Vampire’s Kiss, I then put into Face/Off, so I would say Vampire’s Kiss and Face/Off are two of my favourite movies I’ve made.”

One of the most notorious scenes in Vampire’s Kiss sees Cage’s increasingly unhinged character Peter Loew eat a live cockroach, an effect the filmmakers pulled off through the old-fashioned means of just filming Cage eat a live cockroach. The moment was the actor’s own idea: the original script merely called for him to suck down a raw egg, but Cage suggested the change and dispatched the film’s prop department to a boiler room to catch a few live ones. According to The Ringer, when the filmmakers called a doctor to check whether Cage would get sick if he went through with his crazy idea, he told them: “No. But have him drink some whiskey right after.”

That was bad news for the cockroach, and it could be bad news for Nicolas Hoult, too. The character of RM Renfield has been presented in a variety of different ways over the years, but in Stoker’s original novel, he was an inmate at a lunatic asylum. The Count teased poor Renfield with the possibility of immortality while feeding him a diet of flies and bugs. Cage is sure to do something truly remarkable with the role of Dracula, but for Hoult’s sake let’s make sure he’s not supplying his own bugs.

From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here.

News Related


Could Rangers return to a tried and trusted strategy to tempt Hearts into selling John Souttar?

© Hearts centre-back John Souttar has agreed a pre-contract with Rangers as the Ibrox side look to buy… In the end, cognitive strategy wasn’t necessary to better a Celtic team ... Read more »

Covid: Dominic Raab stands by NHS vaccine deadline saying it's there to 'protect the most vulnerable'

The Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has stood by the deadline for NHS staff to get their vaccine, saying it is there to “protect the most vulnerable in our hospitals.” ... Read more »

Boris Johnson met Nusrat Ghani in 2020 over her claim she was sacked for her 'Muslimness'

Number 10 has confirmed Boris Johnson met Tory MP Nusrat Ghani in 2020 following her claim she was sacked over her “Muslimness” – and “invited” her to make a formal ... Read more »

Why California’s ‘great bacon crisis’ has yet to arrive

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Farlap/Alamy In the months leading up to the arrival of a strict new animal welfare law in California, headlines warned of a “Great California ... Read more »

China: Eight officials arrested, 89 disciplined for concealing last year’s flood death toll

Authorities in China have arrested eight officials and disciplined 89 for allegedly concealing 139 deaths from last year’s Henan flood disaster. In July 2021, thousands of people were evacuated from ... Read more »

Britain accuses Vladimir Putin of plot to install Russian ally puppet leader in Ukraine

British intelligence has uncovered a plot by Russian President Vladimir Putin to install a pro-Moscow puppet leader in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in an extraordinary move. In a ... Read more »

Koblenz trial: One small step towards justice for Syria

© Provided by Al Jazeera A court in the German city of Koblenz sentenced a former Syrian military officer to life in prison on crimes against humanity charges on January ... Read more »

Lasizwe Brings Ntando Duma To Tears

Celebrity friendships often treat us to a whole lot of drama. But when they are wholesome loving and drama-free there are some of the most beautiful things to witness. Luckily ... Read more »

Heavy gunfire at military bases in Burkina Faso

© AFP The military has been batting to curb a long-running insurgency Heavy gunfire has been heard at several barracks in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, and at a nearby air ... Read more »

WHO alarmed over Boris Johnson’s ‘premature’ plans to scrap Covid isolation rules from March

Boris Johnson’s plans to scrap Covid self-isolation rules in England from March have been branded “premature” by a World Health Organization (WHO) official. She also indicated that England was scrapping ... Read more »

Lamborghini To Launch Final Pure Gasoline Car In 2022

We’re nearing the end of an era for the Italian marque. We know for a fact that Lamborghini will be saying goodbye to internal combustion engines by the second half ... Read more »

Michael Vaughan trolls Wasim Jaffer with hilarious scorecard video, Indian comes up with epic response

The fans were up for another fun banter between former cricketers Michael Vaughan and Wasim Jaffer as both were seen trying to pull the leg of the other on Twitter.  ... Read more »

Mohammad Rizwan dedicates his ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of 2021 title to teammates: Thankful to all my colleagues

Mohammad Rizwan dedicates his ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of 2021 award to fans, teammates Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan dedicated the title of ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of 2021 to his ... Read more »

Tearful Adele promises fans she'll ‘100% be back' amid concerns for cancelled Las Vegas shows

ADELE has promised her fans she will “100% be back” amid concerns her Las Vegas residency might not go ahead. The superstar, 33, left fans, some of whom had paid ... Read more »

Google warns to NEVER ignore new alert or you could be in serious danger

GOOGLE has announced a new feature that flags suspicious files on Drive and advises users to not ignore the warnings. The tech giant's latest security measure comes in the form ... Read more »

VAT: Deemed supplies and its exceptions

© Provided by Khaleej Times The taxable persons should properly analyse their supplies, and wherever the concept of deemed supplies is applicable, it should be applied accordingly to avoid penalties ... Read more »

Das ist Florian Silbereisens Spitzname

© WireImage Geheimnis gelüftet: Florian Silbereisen verrät seinen lustigen Spitznamen. Seine engsten Freunde rufen Florian Silbereisen noch heute mit seinem Spitznamen aus der Kindheit. In einem persönlichen Interview verrät der ... Read more »

Sarah Palin set to battle New York Times at defamation trial

© Reuters/TAMI CHAPPELL Former vice-presidential candidate Palin speaks while campaigning for U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore at the Historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery By Jonathan Stempel and ... Read more »

Tennis-Rejuvenated Monfils marches into Australian Open quarter-finals

© Reuters/MORGAN SETTE Australian Open By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Gael Monfils’ blistering start to the season continued on Sunday as he eased past Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5 7-6(4) ... Read more »

‘It's a show about love': Desert Island Discs celebrates 80 years on air

A familiar theme tune is playing in my ears as I step out of my front door and start running. It is a cold, frosty day in Cambridge but as ... Read more »

Fiala leitet mit Tor die Wende ein – Hischier punktet gegen Niederreiters Hurricanes

© keystone Teaserbild © keystone Kevin Fiala konnte gegen Chicago jubeln. Minnesota – Chicago 4:3 n.V. Kevin Fiala, 1 Tor, 3 Schüsse, 1 Hit, 18:31 TOI Philipp Kuraschew, 1 Schuss, ... Read more »

Das Tabakland Schweiz – die letzte Bastion der Qualmer droht in Rauch aufzugehen

Die Initiative für ein Tabakwerbeverbot will der Zigaretten-PR in der Schweiz den Garaus machen. Eine Herkulesaufgabe, denn bis anhin scheiterten alle Versuche für mehr Prävention an einer übermächtigen und undurchsichtigen ... Read more »

Voices: The UK is my home, but wearing Nigerian clothing keeps me connected to my culture

© Getty Images/iStockphoto My traditional dressing is very distinct to the Hausa ethnic group that I belong to in Nigeria – this recognition is important to me due to the ... Read more »

Jagran Explainer: How India is preparing to tackle Omicron as new COVID variant enters community transmission stage

© Provided by Jagran English New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Omicron in India has entered the community transmission stage and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have ... Read more »

Russia calls UK's claim as 'evidence' that NATO escalating tensions around Ukraine

© Provided by WION Russia on Sunday rejected the claim made by the UK government saying it did not provide corroboration to back it up.  Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss ... Read more »

Rajyavardhan Rathore takes pride in great-granddad's legacy from WWI amid ‘mercenary' row

© Provided by The Print New Delhi: As a battle rages on among ex-Servicemen on social media over the usage of the word ‘mercenary’ for British Indian Army soldiers, former ... Read more »

India's R-value declines further, current Covid-19 wave to peak by Feb 6: IIT Madras

© Provided by Hindustan Times A health worker collecting swab samples for Covid testing at an urban community health centre in Ludhiana. (Harsimar Pal Singh//HT) The existing, Omicron-driven wave of ... Read more »

SSC CGL Exam 2021: Last date to apply is January 23, here's how to apply

SSC CGL Exam 2021: The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) had released online applications for the Combined Graduate Level Examination 2021 on their website. The last date to submit online applications ... Read more »

Taliban warns against women's rights activism after two activists were seized from their homes

© Provided by WION Taliban authorities have warned that they have all the rights to crackdown on dissent and jailed protestors. This comes in as concerns grow over the disappearance ... Read more »

Florida redistricting plan faces opposition from DeSantis

© The Hill Florida redistricting plan faces opposition from DeSantis Florida state senators this week offered a rare hint of bipartisan agreement on a plan to redraw a swing state’s ... Read more »

Taraji P. Henson Just Dropped Her Favorite Deep Conditioning Mask for Natural Curls

Taraji P. Henson just showed how to use her favorite hair mask for an at-home twist-out—and it’s from her own haircare line, of course. The Empire star relies on the ... Read more »

People share their colleagues' acts of incredible kindness

Most people spend hours of their life at work, so it’s not surprising that they often become good friends with their colleagues.  But these co-workers from the US and Canada  ... Read more »

Donald Trump blasts the 'vicious' Jan. 6 committee and NY AG for targeting his children Ivanka and Donald Jr.

© Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images Donald Trump along with his children Eric(L) Ivanka and Donald Jr. arrive for a press conference January 11, 2017 at Trump Tower in ... Read more »

Can they fix it? UK project to explore ability and desire to repair tech

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Hero Images/Getty Images From fancy toys to smartphones, when technology breaks, it often seems simplest to ditch it for a new model. But now ... Read more »

‘We now have hope', ‘Time to get behind the team' – These Oldham Athletic fans react to major club announcement

© Provided by Football League World john sheridan For the fourth time in his long managerial career, John Sheridan has become the manager of Oldham Athletic after the club announced ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal & Katrina Kaif share THIS one big interest & it's proof that ‘they are made for each other'

Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif are one of the cutest couples of Bollywood currently. The newlyweds have been taking social media by quite a storm with their lovey-dovey pictures. Be ... Read more »

Diana Penty to have a busy 2022, collaboration with Dharma Productions expected

© Provided by Mid-Day Diana Penty seems to have a jam packed calendar in 2022! The actress has her hands full with four back to back projects. While she makes ... Read more »

Tahir: As a romantic hero, thrilled that my acceptance is higher than Mardaani

© Provided by Mid-Day Tahir Raj Bhasin is over the moon because he has been unanimously accepted as a romantic hero because of his powerful acting in back-to-back two web ... Read more »

Hyderabad Traffic Police use 'Akhanda' scene to drive home message on seat belts

© IANS Hyderabad Traffic police use ‘Akhanda’ scene to drive home message on seat belts. Chennai, Jan 23 (IANS) The Hyderabad Traffic Police has used a scene from director Boyapati ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic