The hiring of Willem Dafoe for Robert Eggers’ remake of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent vampire film “Nosferatu” immediately drew comparisons to the acclaimed 2000 indie film “Shadow of the Vampire”.
That latter film was a darkly comedic fictional spin on the making of “Nosferatu” with Dafoe playing Max Schreck, the actor who played the vampire in the original “Nosferatu”. He was so good in the role he landed a supporting actor nomination for his work.
Specifics of the role Dafoe is playing in the “Nosferatu” remake are under wraps, though he’s not playing the vampire this time – Bill Skarsgard takes on the role in the new outing whilst Lily-Rose Depp and Nicholas Hoult co-star.
Speaking with Total Film, Dafoe says he hadn’t drawn that same connection between the new “Nosferatu” and “Shadow of the Vampire” as the two projects have “very different” aesthetics and “intention”.
He goes on to say Eggers, whom he previously worked on with “The Lighthouse” and “The Northman,” is delivering something extraordinary here:
“I think Robert and [cinematographer] Jarin [Blaschke] were in a very good place, and he’s getting more and more refined. It’s a bigger scale — maybe not quite as big as The Northman, but he was very on top of it. I just saw some pieces, and I didn’t get a sense of the film itself, but it was just beautifully photographed. I can’t think of another film that quite looks like it.”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emma Corrin, Ralph Ineson and Simon McBurney co-star in the film about a haunted young woman and the terrifying vampire infatuated with her. It opens in cinemas in Christmas 2024.