Robert Eggers He earned critical and audience recognition with his debut feature, the independent horror film The Witch (2016)which is listed by many as their favorite of the modern times genre. In 2019 he presented his second feature film, the also acclaimed film The Lighthouse, while in 2022 he launched his third, epic viking revenge adventure, The Northman.
The plot of these last two films also made room to portray disturbing moments on screen, although they are not specifically classified as horror films. But everything is about to change with Eggers’ fourth project, the remake of the horror classic Nosferatuwritten, directed and produced by the filmmaker for Focus Features.
The film has a stellar cast led by Bill Skarsgård (Barbarian, It) playing Nosferatu/Count Orlock, Lily-Rose Depp (The Idol, Silent Night) in a co-starring role as Ellen Hutter, wife of real estate agent, Thomas de Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, Renfield), Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse, The Northman), Emma Corrin (The Crown, My Policeman), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Bullet Train, Nocturnal Animals), Simon McBurney (The Conjuring 2, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) y Ralph Ineson (The Witch, The Northman).
Focus Features started the marketing campaign for the expected project that will premiere in 2024, with an interview that Empire Magazine conducted with Eggers, in addition to sharing the first official image of the project, focused on the young Depp:
“Yes, it’s a scary movie. It’s a horror movie. It’s a gothic horror movie. And I think there hasn’t been a scary old school gothic movie in a while. And I think most audiences will find this to be the case.”
“It’s even more of Ellen’s story than previous versions,” Eggers jokes. “And Lily-Rose is absolutely phenomenal“.
Eggers also has praise for Skarsgård in his portrayal of the Count:
“I will say that Bill has transformed so much that I’m afraid he doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he’s just… not there.”
His characterization, according to the medium, will echo past incarnations, as in the case of Max Schreck’s versions and those of Klaus Kinski:
“He wanted to honor those who had gone before him. Everything is very subtle”, explica Eggers. “But I think the main thing is that he is even more of a popular vampire. In my opinion, he looks like a dead Transylvanian nobleman, and in a way that we have never seen what a real dead Transylvanian nobleman would look and dress like.”
“In the new reinvention, Nosferatu is a gothic story of obsession between a haunted young woman (Depp) in 19th century Germany and the ancient Transylvanian vampire (Skarsgard) who stalks her, bringing with him unspeakable horror.”
Eggers produces alongside Jeff Robinov, John Graham, Chris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus.
The original 1922 silent film and German horror classic was directed by German director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. His script unofficially adapts the story of Bram Stroker’s book, Dracula, providing the audience with an image that became an icon for cinematographic culture. In 1979, Werner Herzog directed another version of the classic.
Eggers is an avid fan of Nosferatu, and has been familiar with the material since his childhood. In 2016 he revealed that he had been more in touch with horror classics from Universal Pictures and Hammer Studios, as he did not feel able to deal with the creepiness. A Nightmare on Elm Street. “I saw a photo of Max Schreck as Count Orlok in a book from my elementary school and I lost my mind.”
He was so interested that he asked his mother to take him to a mall in New Hampshire to get a VHS copy of the film. A few years later, at 17 years old, he directed Nosferatu as his graduation work. This intervention led him to be recruited to stage it professionally, something that definitely inspired him in his career as a filmmaker.
Focus Features will distribute the film in the US market, while Universal Pictures will distribute it in the international market.