Robert Eggers’ long-gestating Nosferatu is apparently a go, and currently slated to film in the Czech Republic later this autumn. Focus Features is producing the project, with Eggers serving as director and writer of the new take on F. W. Murnau’s 1922 horror classic Nosferatu, itself an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Bill Skarsgård, fresh off shooting The Crow in Prague this summer, is now slated to play the lead vampire Count Orlok, often (but erroneously) referred to as Nosferatu, an archaic Romanian word for vampire popularized by Stoker’s original novel.
Fans had been clamoring for Willem Dafoe, who worked with Eggers on The Lighthouse and The Northman, to return to play the character; Dafoe played a fictionalized version of Max Schreck, who starred in the original film, in 2000’s Shadow of the Vampire.
Frequent Eggers collaborator Anya Taylor-Joy, who worked with the director in The Witch and The Northman, had previously been attached to star in Nosferatu, but had to drop out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. She has been replaced by Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp, as the object of Orlok’s obsession.
In March, Vanity Fair revealed that Harry Styles had also dropped out of Nosferatu due to scheduling conflicts. Casting info beyond Skarsgård and Depp has yet to be announced.
According to the latest issue of Production Weekly, Nosferatu is slated to film in the Czech Republic as well as Toronto, with a start date later this autumn.
Studio production on Nosferatu is likely to take place in Toronto with location filming in the Czech Republic. This might be the new trend for larger projects looking to film in Prague under the country’s new incentives plan, which caps tax rebates at 150 million crowns ($6 million).
David Minkowski of Stillking Films, which is handling the production of Nosferatu in the Czech Republic, confirmed in a recent interview that the project is underway and most of the filming would take place in Prague.
The description for the project reads in line with previous versions of the script: “An epic medieval fantasy based on the Dracula mythology. A vampire in Transylvania becomes enamored with the wife of the man who is helping him relocate.”
Eggers had initially begun work on Nosferatu after his debut horror hit The Witch, but would go on to film The Lighthouse and The Northman before the project started to come to fruition last year. Focus Features has now taken over the picture from Studio 8, with Jeff Robinov, John Graham, Robert Eggers, Chris Columbus, and Eleanor Columbus serving as producers.
Nosferatu has a long history with the Czech lands. F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, was partially shot in the Vrátna Valley, Dolný Kubín, and Orava Castle in what was then Czechoslovakia (currently Slovakia). Portions of Werner Herzog’s 1979 version Nosferatu the Vampyre were also shot in Czechoslovakia, with Pernštejn Castle in South Moravia playing Castle Dracula.
Lead photo: Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani in Werner Herzog’s 1979 version of Nosferatu