After years of trying to bring his remake to life, The Northman’s Robert Eggers finally has the backing needed to create his own version of Nosferatu. Officially in production with Focus Features, the film will star It’s Bill Skarsgård and The Idol’s Lily-Rose Depp.
Per Deadline’s description, in the reimagining, “Nosferatu is a gothic tale of obsession between a haunted young woman (Depp) in 19th century Germany and the ancient Transylvanian vampire (Skarsgård) who stalks her, bringing untold horror with him.”
Nosferatu has been on Eggers’ docket for a while now, with several failed attempts to get the project going. After directing The Lighthouse, Eggers set out to craft a remake of the classic film then, with the rumor mill throwing names like Harry Styles out for the lead role. Anya Taylor-Joy was originally going to join the director once more for Nosferatu, but scheduling conflicts reportedly opened up the space for Depp.
“It’s fallen apart twice. I’ve been trying to get the word out because the word did carry that Harry Styles was going to be in the movie,” Eggers previously told IndieWire. “And I just wonder if Murnau’s ghost is telling me, like, you should stop.”
Friedrich Murnau, of course, directed the original 1922 silent film (itself a bootleg riff on Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel), with Max Schreck playing the infamous Count Orlok. The story has remained relatively untouched, aside from Werner Herzog’s remake featuring Klaus Kinski as Count Dracula in 1979, which Eggers has his own thoughts on.
“Herzog’s movie—for me, and I love Herzog, he’s one of my favorite directors—but I do feel like it is uneven,” Eggers said. “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.”