Since 2012, the Hotel Transylvania franchise has been one of the steadiest animated franchises in Hollywood. A new film in the series is released every three years, and Hotel Transylvania 4 is continuing that trend in 2021. The fourth installment will surely feature many of the elements that fans have come to love in the franchise, but there's one major change that many fans are upset about: Adam Sandler's departure.
Why is Adam Sandler leaving 'Hotel Transylvania'?
For the first three films, Adam Sandler was the voice of Dracula, the story's main character and the manager of the titular hotel. In the fourth movie, though, Adam has been replaced by Brian Hull, and some fans are wondering what led Adam to step away from the franchise.
Sony, the studio behind the series, has not offered any explanation about the actor's departure, and neither has Adam himself.
The trailer for Hotel Transylvania 4, which recently debuted online, debuted Brian Hull's take on the character, and the film's directors have said that the story for the fourth film made the transition to a new voice actor more seamless.
“The fact that he turns into a human was a good opportunity to do things a little differently," co-director Derek Dryman told Screen Rant. "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," Derek continued.
Jennifer Kluska, who directed the film alongside Derek, said that the design of the character will also change in Hotel Transylvania 4. "We started with the design, and how do we make that character feel as different as possible," she said.
"He’s not going to animate the same; he’s not going to look the same," Jennifer continued. "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.”
Although Adam's reasons for leaving remain unclear, it seems the directors are excited about the new direction the franchise is heading in.
What is 'Hotel Transylvania 4' about?
The fourth movie in the franchise will follow Dracula as he attempts to live life as a human and put his vampiric impulses behind him. The trailer shows Dracula's new form and his new voice and promises that the movie will hit theaters in December of this year.
Although the franchise is moving on from Adam, it remains to be seen whether the films will remain successful without their central star.
The Hotel Transylvania movies have never been the biggest hits in the world, but they've performed well enough to make sequels possible. It's unclear how much of that success had to do with Adam's presence, and how much of it was inevitable given the array of monsters that the movies features. Now, as the franchise soldiers on without its star, we'll find out how important he was.