Nosferatu is set for a remake, and The Witch breakout director Robert Eggers has confirmed he’ll be at the helm.
This remake of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 German Expressionist horror film is currently set up at former Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 and has been in development since mid-2015. Eggers was reportedly attached around that time, but it turns out that he didn’t really think it was going to be his next project. Well, it is now.
“[It’s shocking] to me,” Eggers said on Indiewire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast (via Collider). “It feels ugly and blasphemous and egomaniacal and disgusting for a filmmaker in my place to do Nosferatu next. I was really planning on waiting a while, but that’s how fate shook out.”
Eggers may just be the perfect filmmaker to take this on. Apart from having helmed one of the most acclaimed horror films of last year with The Witch, Eggers comes with some serious love for the source material. As a young boy, Eggers found himself immediately fascinated with Nosferatu, especially as he couldn’t quite manage the scares that came with the more modern horror films of th time.
“I saw a picture of Max Schreck as Count Orlok in a book in my elementary school and I lost my mind,” Eggers said. It was certainly meant to be; Eggers directed a senior play of Nosferatu at age 17, a move that would lead him on a path towards filmmaking.
It’s early days on the project, but Eggers has teased that history will play a big element in his take of Nosferatu and that he won’t be looking to repeat the type of characterisation actor Max Schreck brought in the original film. “I can’t also do Max Schreck again either, so that’s fun, so it’s going back to the origins of the folk vampire,” he said.
Murnau’s 1922 masterpiece of early cinema was actually an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with names and other details changed due to the studio being unable to obtain the rights to the novel. A lawsuit resulted in a court ruling ordering that all copies of the film be destroyed. Luckily, a few prints survived.