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What You Need To Remember Before Watching Hotel Transylvania 4

Since the release of the original film in 2012, the "Hotel Transylvania" franchise has embraced a light-hearted, family-friendly approach to its cast of typically ghoulish creatures. Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) himself essentially runs a top-tier bed-and-breakfast for visiting monsters with a close group of family and friends, including his beloved daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and human son-in-law Johnny (Andy Samberg). The fourth and final movie, "Hotel Transylvania: Transformania" will cap off nearly a decade of wacky misadventures and tight-knit camaraderie.

The upcoming installment centers on the disastrous consequences of Abraham Van Helsing's "Monsterfication Ray." The invention accidentally zaps the residents of Hotel Transylvania, transforming humans into monsters and monsters into humans. As a result, Drac and his crew must work quickly to find a cure before they are stuck in their new bodies forever.

While the last film was originally meant to be released in theaters, Sony eventually changed its distribution plan after COVID-19 delays. According to Variety, "Hotel Transylvania 4" will now be dropping on Amazon Prime in October. Here are a few helpful things to remember before streaming it.

Dracula is engaged (and possibly married)

While the first two "Hotel Transylvania" films largely focus on Dracula's daughter, Mavis, finding love with a warm-hearted human and having a half-monster child, the third movie follows Drac as he finally pursues a romance of his own.

In "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," Drac and his family excitedly decide to go on a cruise. While there, Drac meets the human captain, Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), and immediately experiences a "zing." However, unbeknownst to him, Ericka is secretly the great-granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan), the legendary monster hunter. Although she's teamed up with her great-grandfather to rid the ship of monsters, she finds herself charmed by Drac's personality. Eventually, Drac admits his feelings to her and, despite her initial reservations, Ericka reveals that she loves him, too. 

In the end, Drac proposes to Ericka at Hotel Transylvania, where she accepts his offer of marriage. It's unclear when the fourth film takes place in the timeline, but the unlikely couple could very well have already tied the knot by the time we return to them.

Humans know that monsters exist

Before you see "Hotel Transylvania: Transformania," you may want a quick refresher on the status quo of the "Hotel Transylvania" world. At the beginning of the series, monsters are keeping their existence a secret from the human world at large (that's why Johnny's accidental intrusion at the hotel is such a crisis). After the events of the first film, Drac learns to trust humans again and decides to no longer hide in the shadows. In the sequels, it's made clear that humans are now aware that monsters still exist. Even better, they are no longer scared of the creatures and all monster-hunting organizations have been eradicated.

However, considering the unforeseen effects of Van Helsing's Monsterfication Ray, this hard-earned trust could be threatened. Newly-transformed humans may not have a well-trained grasp on their unexpected monster powers, which could prove costly. Only one slip-up from a confused werewolf or a wobbly zombie and the reputation of Hotel Transylvania and its monster residents may struggle to recover.

Adam Sandler is no longer Count Dracula

Adam Sandler has lent his voice to the role of Count Dracula in all three "Hotel Transylvania" films to date. However, the trailer for "Transformania" revealed that he will not be returning for the final film. Instead, actor Brian Hull has been hired to replace Sandler. Notably, this isn't the only replacement in the film — Brad Abrell has stepped in to take over the role of Frankenstein, a character originally voiced by Kevin James.

While it is unfortunate that Sandler will not be around for the last installment, shake-ups in production inevitably happen in the Hollywood industry, particularly when it comes to long-running franchises. Moreover, Sandler himself has likely been busy finishing other projects. 

During an interview with Screen Rant, "Hotel Transylvania 4" directors Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon (taking over the helm from Genndy Tartakovsky, who directed the first three installments) discussed the creative opportunities that arose with the introduction of the Monsterfication Ray. As they explained, since all characters will undergo a transformation of sorts, it thematically works that Drac may not completely be "himself."

Considering the widespread love fans have for Drac, it is certainly comforting to know that Kluska and Drymon have approached the last chapter with a keen eye. Hopefully, "Hotel Transylvania 4" concludes the legacy of Dracula in a satisfying and heartfelt manner.