After getting close several times over the past six years, Robert Eggers is finally filming his “Nosferatu” remake, a life-long dream for the filmmaker. And Eggers’ take on F.W. Murnau‘s German Expressionist classic (and Werner Herzog‘s 1979 remake) may be the most anticipated horror film of the next couple of years. Are a remake of “The Exorcist,” Fede Alvarez‘s take on the “Alien” franchise, or “Terrifier 3” a bigger deal than a new Robert Eggers movie? Not a chance.
And Eggers has an update about his latest film’s production, which wrapped shooting in Prague and other locations in Eastern Europe in May. IndieWire reports (via Empire) that the director found the “Nosferatu” shoot more grueling than his recent Viking revenge epic, “The Northman.” “I’m trying to go beyond what I’m capable of,” Eggers said. “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.”
But making “The Northman” prepared Eggers well for the challenges of “Nosferatu.” “I’m so happy to have made “The Northman” first and to have learned what I learned,” continued the director. “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.” Eggers nearly shot “Nosferatu” before “The Northman,” his third feature, a number of times. At one point, Eggers regular Anya Taylor-Joy was attached to star opposite Harry Styles before they dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
Now “Nosferatu” stars “The Idol” actress Lily Rose-Depp and Nicholas Hoult in the lead roles, with Bill Skårsgard as Count Orlok. Other cast includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emma Corrin, Ralph Ineson, and Simon McBurney. Also in “Nosferatu”? Willem Dafoe, who previously had roles for Eggers in “The Northman” and 2019’s “The Lighthouse.” “Willem’s up for anything, and he’ll cut his arm off for the scene,” Eggers commented on the actor. “He is a f*cking pleasure to work with: he was in “The Northman,” he was in “Nosferatu,” [and] I hope I never made a movie without him.”
For those unfamiliar with Murnau and Herzog’s film, “Nosferatu” loosely adapts Bram Stoker‘s “Dracula,” telling the story of an ancient Transylvanian vampire who falls in love with a young woman in 19th century Germany. And wherever Nosferatu follows his beloved, he brings plague, pestilence, and vermin with him.
After so many attempts to make “Nosferatu,” Eggers feels relief for finishing his shoot. But he had his doubts he’d finish in the midst of it. “I’ve been trying so hard,” Eggers said about making his dream come true. “And I just wonder if Murnau’s ghost is telling me, like, you should stop.” But Eggers didn’t stop, and he now readies “Nosferatu” for post-production.
No word yet on when Egger’s latest will reach theaters, but expect Focus Features to have some news on that before 2023 is out. Maybe a festival premiere for Mr. Eggers?