Variety reports that Universal Studios has set their sights on the next Universal Monsters project based on a pitch from The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman, that will focus on Dracula’s lackey Reinfeld.

Ryan Ridley, a key writer on the popular animated series Rick & Morty has penned the script

“Rocketman” director Dexter Fletcher is attached to direct Universal’s “Renfield,” a monster movie centered on Dracula’s henchman and based on an original pitch from Robert Kirkman. “Rick and Morty” scribe Ryan Ridley penned the script. The film will be produced by Skybound Entertainment’s film team, including Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst.

Reinfeld is a human overseer that is seduced by Dracula to take care of his affairs in exchange for the promise to be turned into a vampire and given immortality, only to be confined to an insane asylum.

According to Variety, this new incarnation will take place in the modern-day.

The character was previously played by actor/musician Tom Waits in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula from 1992.

Dexter Fletcher is best known for directing Eddie The Eagle and the recent Elton John biopic Rocketman both starring Taron Eggerton, and he’s currently about to begin production on WB’s Sherlock Holmes 3 in California and England.

This certainly could be a back-door project to reboot Dracula given the character’s connection to the iconic Universal Monster.

When the studio plans to get Reinfeld into production is unknown, but they’ll have to wait for Dexter to complete Sherlock Holmes 3 first (set to be released on December 22nd, 2021).

The studio had once attempted to develop a Marvel-like cinematic universe featuring their horror characters only to bail on it when Tom Cruise’s The Mummy reboot flopped hard at the box office.

Universal is trying to rebound with a wave of standalone films that include a modern take on H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man from Upgrade writer/director Leigh Whannell, which is set to be released in February.

Paul Feig (Last Christmas) is also developing a Universal Monsters project as well.

SOURCE: VARIETY

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