After taking over for Bryan Singer on Bohemian Rhapsody and going on to direct Rocketman, Dexter Fletcher is ready to tackle a new challenge, and to that end, he has signed on to direct Renfield, a monster movie centered on Dracula’s henchman R.M. Renfield that is in the works at Universal, Collider has confirmed.
Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty) is writing the script, which is based on an original pitch from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who will produce via his Skybound Entertainment banner along with David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst.
In Bram Stoker‘s Dracula, R.M. Renfield was an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was thought to be suffering from delusions, but was actually a servant of the iconic vampire. Rather than be a period piece, Fletcher’s film is expected to take place in present day, same as Leigh Whannell‘s Invisible Man movie starring Elisabeth Moss.
At one point, Universal announced a Dark Universe that would launch with The Mummy, but that Tom Cruise film was poorly received by critics and audiences, forcing the studio to reassess its strategy for its classic movie monsters. Rather than slot filmmakers into a studio-mandated vision, Universal has been developing projects on a case-by-case basis, allowing to storytellers to pitch their own unique takes on the studio’s horror icons. Collider has heard of several additional projects that are in the works — one with a major movie star, the other with a budding horror director.
CAA represents Fletcher and Kirkman, who is also repped by Circle of Confusion, while Ridley is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment. Variety broke the news of Fletcher’s hiring on Renfield. For more on Rocketman and Fletcher’s plans for Sherlock Holmes 3, click here.