After causing quite a stir with his horror film The Witch, which was divisive, to say the least, director Robert Eggers is looking to do more work in the genre which put him on the map. That’s because he’s set to remake the classic horror flick Nosferatu. He’s been attached to it for a while now, actually, but it was only recently that he said he’d be doing it as his next project.
“[It’s shocking] to me,” Eggers said. “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.”
Things changed, however, as the other month, the director switched gears to The Lighthouse. At the time, many suspected that this meant perhaps his planned remake was heading back to the shelf, presumably to sit around in development hell for a while longer. And though it may not be getting off the ground anytime soon, Anya Taylor-Joy, who’s attached to star, says that they’re still hoping to get the project made.
Speaking to EW in a recent interview, she gave the following brief, but promising, update:
“Right now, Robert is making the Lighthouse, which I could not be more proud of and more excited for, and I’m going to go and visit the set. He’s such a brilliant man — other than being a wonderful human being, he’s such a brilliant director. So, hopefully, we will get the chance to make [Nosferatu] together, yeah.”
It’s no secret that vampires have been a staple of big screen horror lately, between action-oriented reimaginings of the Count Dracula legend (Dracula Untold) and innovative, genre-blending stories about bloodsuckers (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Only Lovers Left Alive, What We Do in the Shadows). With remakes as bankable as ever, too, it makes depressing sense that an old relic like Nosferatu would get a dusting-off sooner or later.
That being said, it could be worse – Eggers drew particular praise for creating a wholly eerie atmosphere on The Witch, which was set in mid-17th-century New England. Such a knack will come in very handy if he’s to have any hope of doing right by the haunting work F.W. Murnau did on the original Nosferatu.
Still, it’s more than a little frustrating that so much of horror these days involves putting slight spins on already-existing material. The Poltergeist remake recently demonstrated the pitfalls of being too faithful to the source material and therefore forgetting to showcase any sort of distinctive identity, while others like 2011’s The Thing just completely missed the point of what made the original such a classic.
Eggers is going to have to toe the line there with deference, intelligences and at least a few of his own ideas if he’s to succeed in rebooting an age-old masterpiece like Nosferatu. But even if he does, it’s a little dismaying to see the name being used as a selling point when there are certainly still opportunities to create interesting and original vampire stories.