Since his breakout film The Witch (2015), Eggers has only done two follow-up films in the form of The Lighthouse and recently The Northman. Noted for his film deeply researching the eras his stories take place in, Eggers works to create an authentic rendition of those time periods including dialogue that is written in those eras' language/diction and a production design that captures them in visual accuracy. Most likely this is what Eggers hopes to do for his long-in-development remake of Nosferatu which is finally moving forward at Focus Features who previously produced Eggers' The Northman. This is confirmed with today's announced casting of Bill Skarsgård and Lily-Rose Depp.
The original 1922 silent film was directed by F. W. Murnau and starred Max Schreck as the vampiric character. It was actually an unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic 1897 novel Dracula and to avoid copyright infringement, the names and locations were changed, focusing on Count Orlok (in place of Count Dracula) who preys on the wife of his estate agent and brings the plague to their town. Despite the Stoker estate suing the film at the time and demanding all copies of it be destroyed, several copies did survive and the film has endured as a cinematic classic all on its own, followed by an equally acclaimed remake by director Werner Herzog in 1979 titled Nosferatu the Vampyre. While Eggers praised Herzog's take, he previously stared his remake would rectify some issues he had with that version:
“Herzog’s movie — for me, and I love Herzog, he’s one of my favorite directors — but I do feel like it is uneven. Love the score, love [Isabelle] Adjani, love [Klaus] Kinski, but, like front-lit night scenes, what? That’s just Herzog doing Herzog. But the best sequence of that movie, for me, is getting to the castle with Das Rheingold, and I don’t even know if it makes sense in the film even though it’s awesome. But at the same time because of German history and German cinema history, it was his right to do that film, and he needed to do that film. I don’t know. Maybe Murnau’s telling me I don’t have the right.”
For the remake, Bill Skarsgård has signed on to play the eponymous bloodsucker while Lily-Rose Depp is in talks to join the cast as the woman who falls in love with him. Eggers at one point was set to do the remake before The Northman with Harry Styles starring as a human character and Eggers' regular collaborator Anya Taylor-Joy in the female love interest role.
No production start date has been given but it will interesting to see how Eggers' might apply his period-accurate storytelling to this classic, vampiric tale. Stay tuned!