Nicholas Hoult’s version of Renfield – who reluctantly serves his master Dracula’s bloodlust by finding him human victims – is not particularly bloodthirsty himself. Renfield seems reluctant to kill humans, if the trailer is anything to go by, and instead gets ‘powered-up’ by eating bugs. And as Hoult recently told Total Film, they were real insects, which is a slightly different dining experience to his last movie – The Menu.
“I think they just ordered them from Amazon or wherever. The crickets came in different flavors. Some of them were barbecue, some were salt and vinegar. Honestly, once you get over the idea of what it is you’re eating, they weren’t that bad. And I ate a lot. There was only one that I didn’t like – it was a potato bug, and that one did taste… buggy.”
Hoult didn’t have to endure an entirely bug-based diet while playing Renfield though. As he told Total Film, some of the “cockroaches” he ate were just caramel molded to look like bugs. Hoult called these, “suitably chewy and sticky in the teeth, but delicious.”
In Renfield, the assistant has become increasing begrudging to his narcissistic, demanding boss Dracula (Nicolas Cage, in perfect casting). He attends group therapy and tries to start a relationship with a traffic cop played by Awkwafina. It also stars Ben Schwartz, and is directed by Chris McKay (the Batman Lego Movie).
Renfield is a result of Universal letting go of their ‘Dark Universe’ idea (which was set to star Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe). Instead, they’ve gone down the route of letting indie movie directors such as Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man) and Derek Cianfrance (Wolfman) have a go at their roster of classic horror characters.
Check out our guide to the best monster movies.