Abigail: Kathryn Newton gives set tour in promo video, Dan Stevens describes film as extreme & hilarious

Kathryn Newton promotes the vampire movie Abigail with a set tour video while Dan Stevens describes the film as extreme and hilarious

A Universal Monsters project is coming our way from Radio Silence, the filmmaking team that previously brought Ready or Not, Scream (2022), and Scream VI to the screen. Universal has scheduled an April 19, 2024 theatrical release date for the film, which was once going by the title Dracula’s Daughter and now going by the less informative title of Abigail. With the release date swiftly approaching, a promo video in which cast member Kathryn Newton (Freaky) gives a tour of the set has arrived online, while co-star Dan Stevens – who can be seen in this weekend’s release Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire – has given an interview where he described Abigail as extreme and hilarious. The set tour promo video can be seen in the embed above.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Steven said, “Those Radio Silence boys are so much fun. I’m slowly ticking off all of the guys from the V/H/S anthology. I’ve worked with Nacho Vigalondo, Gareth Evans, Adam Wingard, and now the Radio Silence boys. There’s only a few more to go, and they seem to specialize in a particular horror that I’ve always enjoyed. I hesitate to use the term horror-comedy because it doesn’t sound quite right, but it’s horror that’s taken to such a batshit extreme that it becomes hilarious and enjoyable. That’s exactly the kind of film I love seeing with an audience that just decides to go with it and have a really wild time. I haven’t seen Abigail completely yet, but the few scenes that I have seen are just hysterical. It was a ton of fun with a fun group of people.

Radio Silence members Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett directed the film, while the third member of the trio, Chad Villella, is a producer. Their Scream movie collaborators William Sherak, Paul Neinstein, and James Vanderbilt of Project X Entertainment are also producing the monster movie alongside their Ready or Not producer Tripp Vinson. Ron Lynch and Macdara Kelleher serve as executive producers. Jay Polidoro, Holly Goline, Kelly Cannon, and Jacqueline Garell are overseeing the project for Universal. Stephen Shields wrote the initial screenplay for this take on Dracula’s Daughter, and Guy Busick (who co-wrote the two recent Scream movies with Vanderbilt) did some revisions.

Abigail has the following synopsis: Children can be such monsters. After a group of would-be criminals kidnap the 12-year-old ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure, all they have to do to collect a $50 million ransom is watch the girl overnight. In an isolated mansion, the captors start to dwindle, one by one, and they discover, to their mounting horror, that they’re locked inside with no normal little girl. 

Newton and Stevens are joined in the cast by Melissa Barrera (Scream), William Catlett (Black Lightning), Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and Angus Cloud (Euphoria) as the kidnappers with Alisha Weir (Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical) as Abigail. Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) is also in the cast.

Universal previously indicated to The Hollywood Reporter that the project falls in the lane of such films as Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man and Renfield, Chris McKay’s take on a Dracula side character — movies that provide “a unique take on legendary monster lore and will represent a fresh, new direction for how to celebrate these classic characters.” Universal released a movie called Dracula’s Daughter in 1936, telling the story of “Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden), the daughter of Count Dracula and herself a vampire. Following Dracula’s death, she believes that by destroying his body, she will be free of his influence and live normally. When this fails, she turns to a psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Garth (Otto Kruger). The Countess kidnaps Dr. Garth’s assistant, Janet (Marguerite Churchill), and takes her to Transylvania, leading to a battle between Dr. Garth and the Countess in an attempt by him to save Janet.”

Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett were hoping they’d be able to move on from Abigail to directing Scream 7, but studio executives weren’t willing to wait for them to finish working on their vampire project, so they were “exited” from the slasher sequel. This morning, we learned that a Ready or Not sequel is moving ahead without Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett at the helm as well.

Are you looking forward to Abigail? What did you think of the set tour video, and are you glad to hear the movie described as extreme and hilarious? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Source: Universal Pictures

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.