Chris McKay, who is prepping his sci-fi pic The Tomorrow War for a July release, has sunk his teeth into his next project.
The filmmaker is in negotiations to direct and produce Renfield, a monster movie focused on Dracula’s infamous unhinged acolyte.
McKay is also joining Skybound Entertainment’s Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst as producer on the project. Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, wrote the story outline for Renfield.
McKay’s producing partner, Samantha Nisenboim, will be joining the project as executive producer.
The character of Renfield originated in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula as a patient in an asylum with an obsession for drinking blood, deluded into thinking he will find immortality. He bows at the feet of the vampire king, who feeds him insects and rats and dangles everlasting life in front of him.
The loyal follower of Dracula has appeared numerous times onscreen, including being played by Dwight Frye in 1931’s Dracula and by Tom Waits in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation.
Ryan Ridley, who has worked on FX’s comedy Ghosted and Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty, wrote the script, which will likely get revised once McKay comes on board.
Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman) was previously attached to the project.
Renfield continues Universal’s more filmmaker-driven approach to its cinematic monster stable as the studio hopes to build on the success of 2020’s The Invisible Man.
McKay rose up through the ranks of the animation world before making his solo feature directorial breakthrough with The Lego Batman Movie, which earned critical acclaim even as it grossed more than $312 million worldwide. He is in postproduction on Tomorrow War, his live-action debut that stars Chris Pratt. The alien invasion movie is set to debut on Amazon on July 2.
McKay is repped by UTA, Rise Management and Morris Yorn.