Why Nicolas Cage was born to play Dracula

Duncooked the curtains and conceal your garlic: Nicolas Cage goes to play Dracula. While manufacturing has but to start on Renfield – a comic book retelling of Bram Stoker’s 1897 vampire novel centred on the Count’s long-suffering lackey RM Renfield – there’s loads of pedigree round to recommend it is a movie price getting enthusiastic about. It’s primarily based on an idea by The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman, the script’s been written by former Rick & Morty author Ryan Ridley, and it’ll be introduced to the display by Chris McKay, who directed The Tomorrow War and The Lego Batman Movie. On display, Shang-Chi’s Awkwafina will be a part of a forged that additionally consists of Nicholas Hoult within the titular function, contemporary from proving simply how outrageously humorous he may be within the appropriately named period-comedy The Great.

Still, essentially the most intriguing side of the entire mission has to be attempting to guess what Cage will do with the long-lasting vampire. In an interview with Variety this week, Cage confirmed that he’s an “enormous” fan of the character and revealed he’d been finding out earlier portrayals. “I looked at Bela Lugosi’s performance, and then I looked at Frank Langella’s performance,” Cage stated of the 1931 and 1979 movie variations. He additionally had excessive reward for Gary Oldman in Cage’s uncle Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula. “I looked at Gary’s performance in my uncle’s movie, which I think it’s just so sumptuous. Every frame is a work of art.” He added that he hoped his interpretation of will “pop in a unique way from how we’ve seen it played.”

Frankly, it’s virtually a shock Cage hasn’t performed Dracula earlier than. This is, in any case, an actor with such a fascination for all issues gothic that he already has his personal pyramid-shaped tomb ready for him in New Orleans’ St Louis Cemetery No 1, close to the ultimate resting place of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. In current years, Cage has constructed a wonderfully idiosyncratic physique of impartial movie work, with each an acclaimed efficiency as a grief-stricken truffle forager in Pig and a flip as a financial institution robber with bombs strapped to his testicles in Prisoners of the Ghostland launched in simply the final 12 months. Early subsequent yr, he’ll be seen enjoying an amped-up model of himself in meta-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – fairly actually the half he was born to play.

Universal’s Renfield might be Cage’s first main studio film since 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and it’ll see him tackle one other function he’s been ready a lifetime to play. As a toddler, Cage was obsessive about the 1922 German silent movie Nosferatu, one of many earliest movie variations of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, and he included that movie’s exaggerated silent performing type into one of many strangest and most compelling movies of his profession: 1989 indie horror Vampire’s Kiss.

Even in the event you haven’t seen Vampire’s Kiss, you’re sure to recognise no less than one scene from it. Cage’s over-the-top, expressionist efficiency within the movie launched a thousand memes, most notably a picture of his bug-eyed, condescending expression given the caption “You don’t say?” The movie is a few womanising Manhattan literary agent who believes he’s been reworked right into a vampire by a chunk from certainly one of his dates. Cage, immediately influenced by his love of Nosferatu, performed the function with a intentionally exaggerated performing type that now makes it good for memes – simply because it was as soon as good for silent motion pictures.

The performing type Cage developed on Vampire’s Kiss continues to echo by means of his work to at the present time. Earlier this yr, speaking to IMDb in regards to the roles that had modified his life, Cage defined that whereas making the movie, he was “trying to marry my fascination with silent film with modern film performance”. It was an experiment, he stated, including: “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 essentially the most infamous scenes in Vampire’s Kiss sees Cage’s more and more unhinged character Peter Loew eat a dwell cockroach, an impact the filmmakers pulled off by means of the old style technique of simply filming Cage eat a dwell cockroach. The second was the actor’s personal thought: the unique script merely known as for him to suck down a uncooked egg, however Cage instructed the change and dispatched the movie’s prop division to a boiler room to catch a number of dwell ones. According to The Ringer, when the filmmakers known as a physician to verify whether or not Cage would get sick if he went by means of along with his loopy thought, he advised them: “No. But have him drink some whiskey right after.”

That was unhealthy information for the cockroach, and it might be unhealthy information for Nicolas Hoult, too. The character of RM Renfield has been introduced in a wide range of other ways over time, however in Stoker’s authentic novel, he was an inmate at a lunatic asylum. The Count teased poor Renfield with the potential for immortality whereas feeding him a food plan of flies and bugs. Cage is bound to do one thing actually outstanding with the function of Dracula, however for Hoult’s sake let’s be certain that he’s not supplying his personal bugs.

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