Nosferatu remake

Most people haven’t had a chance to see The Witch at this point; A24 hasn’t even released a trailer yet, so no one is familiar with the film and its story of a 17th Century New England family which is beset by black magic.

Robert Eggers, a former production designer, wrote and directed The Witch, which made waves at Sundance this year thanks to its excellent construction, and the strange scares it offers. Egger’s background in the art department is evident in every frame of The Witch, which is startlingly period-accurate, wonderfully detailed, and immersively whole.

That background also makes Eggers a very interesting choice for the Nosferatu remake that is now in development at Jeff Robinov’s new outfit Studio 8.

Deadline reports on the deal, saying the currently untitled film is “a visceral adaptation of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film masterpiece that brings the horrific vampire of Eastern European folklore back to the screen.” That’s probably language that comes directly from Studio 8, so you can take that as an indication of what they intend this movie to be, at least.

The report says Robinov and Studio 8 have been chasing the rights to Nosferatu for a few months. Eggers will also write the remake, which will be produced by The Witch and Beginners producers Jay Van Hoy & Lars Knudsen.

Nosferatu, as the first major film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, and in many ways still the most faithful adaptation, has been loosely remade by Werner Herzog, and is also the source material or inspiration for more than a few other films. One, Shadow of the Vampire, even postulates that Nosferatu star Max Schrek was himself a vampire, and that director F.W. Murnau cast him in order to attain the greatest possible vampiric verisimilitude.

So we’re well past a point where remaking Nosferatu seems like any sacrilege. It might not seem like the best idea, granted, because Murnau’s original film is an incredible piece of work that sets a high benchmark. But for a director with ambitious vision and great design skill, it could be a virtual playground. Based on The Witch, Eggers may well fit that bill. When I see that the guy who made The Witch is remaking Nosferatu, I’m immediately intrigued; I expect others will be, too, once they see Eggers’s film.

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