Director Robert Eggers says Nosferatu pushed him beyond his capabilities – and he’s glad he didn’t make it until after The Northman
Eight years have passed since we first heard that The Witch writer/director Robert Eggers was going to be taking the helm of a remake of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent classic Nosferatu (watch it HERE), but filming didn’t begin until earlier this year. During a recent interview with Empire magazine, Eggers said that it was a good thing that he wasn’t able to make Nosferatu earlier, because even after making The Lighthouse and The Northman, this movie still pushed him “beyond his capabilities”. Which is exactly what he was going for.
Eggers said, “I’m trying to go beyond what I’m capable of. As always, it was a difficult shoot. Last night we were doing a scene on a ship with a lot of rain and waves, and the rain deflector, which tries to blow rain out of the lens, was breaking down and fogging. I spent the past several days working only with Russian sailors on a boat. I’m so happy to have made The Northman first and to have learned what I learned. When I think about the production plan of Nosferatu that we had the first time around, I’m sure I would have somehow pulled it out of my butt, but it’s hard not to imagine it being a failure.“
Filming on Eggers’ Nosferatu wrapped in mid-May.
An unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the original Nosferatu has the following synopsis: In this highly influential silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok (Max Schreck) summons Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) to his remote Transylvanian castle in the mountains. The eerie Orlok seeks to buy a house near Hutter and his wife, Ellen (Greta Schroeder). After Orlok reveals his vampire nature, Hutter struggles to escape the castle, knowing that Ellen is in grave danger. Meanwhile Orlok’s servant, Knock (Alexander Granach), prepares for his master to arrive at his new home.
Eggers’ Nosferatu is a gothic tale of obsession between a haunted young woman in 19th century Germany and the ancient Transylvanian vampire who stalks her, bringing untold horror with him.
When Eggers’ Nosferatu was first announced in 2015, the expectation was that his The Witch star Anya Taylor-Joy would be playing the Ellen role. But Taylor-Joy had trouble fitting the project into her busy schedule, and on two different occasions when Taylor-Joy was available to work on Nosferatu the project ended up falling apart. (Most recently because Harry Styles has been cast as Hutter, then had to drop out.) So Eggers ended up taking the next opportunity to get Nosferatu made, even if it would be without Taylor-Joy. Her role went to Lily-Rose Depp (Yoga Hosers).
Depp is joined in the Nosferatu cast by Nicholas Hoult (Renfield), Emma Corrin (The Crown), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Bullet Train), Ralph Ineson (The Witch), Simon McBurney (The Conjuring 2), and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man: No Way Home), with Bill Skarsgard (It) taking on the role of the title character.
Nosferatu was previously remade by Werner Herzog in 1979, with Klaus Kinski playing the title character. The 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire was a fictional account of the making of Nosferatu, with Willem Dafoe playing Max Schreck as an actual vampire.
Eggers is producing this remake with Jeff Robinson, John Graham, Chris Columbus, and Eleanor Columbus.
Are you looking forward to seeing what Eggers has done with his Nosferatu remake? Let us know by leaving a comment below.