Hotel Transylvania’s Dracula goes through transformations on and off-screen in the franchise’s fourth and final installment after Adam Sandler exits.
Brian Hull has taken the reigns from Adam Sandler to portray Dracula in the fourth and final installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise. The series follows Drac (formerly portrayed by Adam Sandler) as he navigates family life and the running of his hotel for monsters. The first film premiered in 2012 and stared Selena Gomez Drac’s daughter Mavis and Andy Samberg as a human named Johnny who stumbles into the hotel. Hotel Transylvania spawned three sequels, the last of which, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, will be released in theaters this summer.
A trailer for the film shows Hull’s Drac facing his biggest challenge yet: being human. The trailer depicts Johnny, now the husband of Mavis, struggling to fit in because he is a human while everyone else in the family is a monster. Using a “monsterfication ray” to become a dragon-like creature while accidentally setting it off and turning Drac into a human. His fangs recede, his ears round out, and his hair thins out as he exclaims, “Oh no! It can’t be!”
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In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania directors Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon spoke about bringing Hull in to replace Sandler in the film. Kluska and Drymon are also newcomers to the franchise, though the script for the film was written by Genndy Tartakovsky who directed the first three films. In the interview, both directors pointed out the fact that Drac goes through not only an emotional transformation in the film, but a physical one as well, opening the door for a new voice actor to replace the film’s star as seamlessly as possible. Drymon spoke about the timing of the actor switch, and Kluska explains how Dracula’s human design changed things:
Derek Drymon: The fact that he turns into a human was a good opportunity to do things a little differently. He could be a little different than he was in the movies, and it would be natural. So, it kind of was the perfect movie to have a person come in and fill those shoes.
Jennifer Kluska: We started with the design, and how do we make that character feel as different as possible. He’s not going to animate the same; he’s not going to look the same. And it felt like embracing Brian and, more specifically, embracing what the difference in that would be as a human. It felt like it was a great opportunity.
Though it is unclear exactly why Sandler decided to leave the franchise, both directors expressed their excitement at the opportunity to take the character in a new direction for the final installment. Because Drac will be spending at least some of the movie as a human rather than a powerful vampire, it makes sense that his voice isn’t going to be the only thing to change.
After Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation became the highest-grossing film in the franchise, it became clear that there would be a lot riding on the fourth installment, especially with new directors and actors in the mix. Hull is the most notable addition to the cast, and is well known for his voice work. In 2014, he gained popularity after uploading a video of him singing “Let it go” from Disney’s Frozen while doing impressions of multiple well-known characters. Since then, he has done voice work for Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure and Monster Pets. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania will be his first major film role.
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