Long-time passion project for Robert Eggers, Nosferatu is finally happening at Focus Features. The Northman and The Lighthouse director Eggers has locked in Bill Skarsgard as Count Orlok and Lily-Rose Depp is in talks to co-star. Eggers is writing.
Nosferatu is the version of the Dracula legend that introduced the Count’s longing for Mina based on a photograph. This was entirely absent from the original book but has appeared in several adaptions since, including Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version.
The original Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (German: Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie des Grauens) was a 1922 silent German Expressionist horror film. It was directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok.
Nosferatu was an unauthorized and unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. The background is complicated as it is often held that names and other details were changed from the novel, including Count Dracula being renamed Count Orlok, as a defence against copyright claims.
However, the the original German version acknowledged Dracula as the source. Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaptation, and a court ruling ordered all copies of the film to be destroyed. For years it was very rare, however several prints did survive.
A remake by director Werner Herzog, Nosferatu the Vampyre, starred Klaus Kinski (as Count Dracula, not Count Orlok) and was released in 1979. Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) told a fictional account of the making of the original.
This version will keep the romantic obsession angle as it follows a young woman in 19th century Germany who is staled by an ancient Transylvanian vampire (Skarsgard), bringing a plague with him.
In 2019 Eggers nearly got the movie off the ground with Anya Taylor-Joy and Harry Styles as the two leads, but that fell apart.
Jeff Robinov, John Graham, Robert Eggers, Chris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus are producing Nosferatu. Filming will start when Skarsgard clears John Wick: Chapter 4.