Studio 8 has set up an untitled remake of F. W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film masterpiece Nosferatu with The Witch helmer Dave Eggers on board to write and direct.
The Witch premiered at Sundance earlier this year to incredibly strong reviews. He’s already attached to direct The Knight, a medieval film, which Van Hoy and Knudsen are also producing for the studio as well. Eggers is adept at historical horror; conjuring up horror both grounded in realism yet heightened in atmosphere. He could be a good choice but in the end, why remake Nosferatu at all?
That film was an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with names and details tweaked. It starred Max Schreck as the hideous vampire Count Orlok, who finds himself interested in finding new residence, all the while becoming more engrossed by the wife of his real estate agent. Nosferatu was an unauthorized version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that tried to get around any legal dispute by changing the name of Count Dracula to Count Orlok. Unfortunately, that plan failed, and Stoker’s heirs soon set in motion plans to sue the filmmakers, which ultimately led to a court insisting that every single copy of the film be destroyed.
The 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire presented a fictionalized version of the making of Murnau’s masterpiece, with John Malkovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe (in an Oscar nominated performance) as the original lead, Max Schreck.
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 the story itself has been explored through multiple iterations and versions.
Check out Werner Herzog’s remake from 1979 for proof that the story can be told, and re-told, honorably.
The news of a Nosferatu remake comes after news that F.W. Murnau’s skull it was stolen from his grave in Germany between July 4 and 12 of this year. It all seems like a movie unto itself.
Images: A24, Youtube