The Hollywood remake machine is at it again. Time and again, studio after studio is packing sequels, remakes, reboots, and reimagined properties on the calendar, leaving little space for original fare. Worse still, most remakes are built from the ground up by the studio system with only profit in mind, with the directors and talent involved feeling lifeless and uninspired. All of which is to say that while the announcement of the forthcoming remake of the horror classic “Nosferatu” is no surprise, the keys to the picture have been gifted to someone surprising: the director of the Sundance hit “The Witch,” Robert Eggers.
Earlier this year Eggers debut film, “The Witch,” hit Sundance like a bat out of hell (pun intended). Set roughly 400 years ago, the horror flick turned heads for its loving and exquisitely detailed Puritan New England setting — recreation that went all the way to the speech patterns of the characters. Part of the terror that the film so easily evokes is due to the historical truth laced throughout (save for all the witchcraft). To boot, the film was just great. It’s “an evocative look at the nature of evil and the inescapability of malevolence,” Rodrigo Perez said in our grade [A] review.
So, while we have no doubt about the abilities of Eggers to handle such an important relic of cinematic history, the true question is whether or not “Nosferatu” should even be trifled with. Along with the film’s sheer beauty and utter greatness, the story of F. W. Murnau’s picture’s tumultuous journey through lawsuit, destruction, and repopulation, made it one of the first cult classics ever.
Right now “Nosferatu” is set up at Studio 8 and is currently untitled. It’s unclear at the moment what Eggers next project will be — “Nosferatu” or “The Knight,” which is also set up at Studio 8. Truth be told, we’ll be queuing up one way or another, because if we had to trust anyone with one of cinema’s last unscathed classics (not forgetting Werner Herzog‘s 1979 nod, “Nosferatu The Vampire“), it would be someone with Eggers’ unique and off kilter vision.
For now, though, we’ve got to sit tight and wait for the “The Witch” — which has yet to get a trailer — to hit cinemas. Let us know how you feel about Eggers taking on “Nosferatu” in the comments below. [Deadline]