EXCLUSIVE: Less then a week after landing a starring role in Searchlight’s The Menu, Nicholas Hoult looks to have found another project to add to his dance card. Sources tell Deadline that Hoult is on board to star in Universal Pictures’ Renfield, a monster movie centered on Dracula’s familiar henchman. The Tomorrow War director Chris McKay is on board to helm the pic, which is based on an original story outline from Robert Kirkman. Ryan Ridley wrote the script.
McKay’s producing partner Samantha Nisenboim will be joining the project as executive producer. The film will be produced by Skybound Entertainment’s film team including Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst.
In the original Dracula novel, R.M. Renfield was an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was thought to be suffering from delusions but actually is a servant of Dracula. Plot details of the movie weren’t announced, but it’s believed to take place during the present day and is not a period piece.
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While Universal is developing a handful of high-profile monster pics including Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling and a Van Helsing pic with James Wan producing, the studio has been high on this project since getting the first draft. While the character isn’t the flashiest among its monster IPs, insiders say the story’s mix of humor and action was something the studio was looking for because so many of the other properties have more of a horror element to them, like Universal’s box office hit The Invisible Man.
Besides The Menu, Hoult next will be seen starring in Season 2 of Tony McNamara’s Golden Globe- and SAG-nominated comedy series The Great, on which he also will serve as an executive producer. Hoult himself received Golden Globe, SAG and Critics Choice acting nominations for Season 1 of the Hulu series, produced by Civic Center Media in affiliation with MRC Television, and following the success of the first season, Hoult signed a first-look deal with MRC Television.
Hoult was most recently seen in Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead alongside Angelina Jolie. His feature and TV credits include McNamara’s The Favourite, the X-Men franchise and Mad Max: Fury Road among others.
He is repped by UTA, 42 and Felker Toczek.