“Visceral” Nosferatu Remake Announced

Robert Eggers, director of the stylish horror The Witch – not yet on general release but which received a critical thumbs up at Sundance this year – is set to direct a remake seminal 1922 German horror movie Nosferatu.


Director FW Murnau’s silent classic was an early screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, though thoroughly unofficial. Murnau changed the names and locations but Stoker’s estate wasn’t fooled. The film became enmeshed in copyright battle that nearly ended in the total destruction of all copies of the German copycat film.

Luckily, some copies survived and Murnau’s visual masterpiece became possibly even more infamous as a result. Nosferatu featured a far more monstrous, rodent-like vampire than the more urbane version US audiences would come to know via Bela Lugosi.

Nosferatu has already been remade by Werner Herzog in 1979, while Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) was a film about the making of the film, suggesting that original Nosferatu actor Max Shrek was actually a vampire himself.

Now Studio 8, a new production company set up by Jeff Robinov, former president of Warer Bros, has bought the rights to the film (there’s no threat from the Stoker estate now, as Dracula is well out of copyright) and Eggers has been attached to direct.

The Witch 2015

The Witch

Eggers is a former production designer who wrote and directed The Witch, a sumptuous, gorgeous-looking period piece about a 17th Century New England family under supernatural attack.

Deadline reports that the remake is “a visceral adaptation of Murnau’s 1922 silent film masterpiece that brings the horrific vampire of Eastern European folklore back to the screen.”

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how a director with a strong visual style as Robert Eggers reinvents the iconic look of Nosferatu for today’s audiences. The Simpsons may now “own” the overbite in popular culture, but it’d be a shame if Nosferatu’s famous overlong incisors (rather than the canine fangs of your common or garden screen vampire) were dropped.

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