Robert Eggers Says ‘Nosferatu’ Remake Has ‘Fallen Apart Twice,’ Clarifies Role Harry Styles Would’ve Played

"I just wonder if Murnau’s ghost is telling me, like, you should stop," Eggers told IndieWire, as he wonders if his busted "Nosferatu" remake is "cursed."
Robert Eggers poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'The Northman' in London Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Robert Eggers
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Robert Eggers’ long-gestating “Nosferatu” remake attracted plenty of attention last month when it was revealed that Harry Styles dropped out of the cast. But the director behind “The Northman” wants to set the record straight on something: Styles was never going to play the vampire.

Speaking to IndieWire’s Eric Kohn about his Viking epic, Eggers reveals that he is not sure if or when he’ll make “Nosferatu” and also dashed fans’ hopes of seeing Styles don vampire fangs.

“Dude, I don’t know,” Eggers said when asked about the status of the film. “It’s fallen apart twice. I’ve been trying to get the word out because the word did carry that Harry Styles was going to be in the movie. I just want to be clear that he was going to be Hutter and not Nosferatu himself. “

In F.W. Murnau’s original “Nosferatu,” itself a German take on Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” Thomas Hutter is the human who encounters the titular vampire on a business trip and ultimately kills him. Styles vacated the role because of scheduling conflicts with his upcoming album, but even if he hadn’t, Eggers is not certain the film would have materialized. In fact, he said he worries that his remake of the expressionist silent film may be cursed.

“I’ve been trying so hard,” Eggers said of his attempts to make the film. “And I just wonder if Murnau’s ghost is telling me, like, you should stop.”

Eggers’ planned film would be the second notable remake of “Nosferatu.” The first was 1979’s “Nosferatu the Vampyre,” directed by none other than Werner Herzog. Eggers has some issues with that film, but he notes that Herzog’s German film pedigree made Herzog a more natural choice to remake the material than him.

“Herzog’s movie — for me, and I love Herzog, he’s one of my favorite directors — but I do feel like it is uneven,” Eggers said. “Love the score, love [Isabelle] Adjani, love [Klaus] Kinski, but, like front-lit night scenes, what? That’s just Herzog doing Herzog. But the best sequence of that movie, for me, is getting to the castle with Das Rheingold, and I don’t even know if it makes sense in the film even though it’s awesome. But at the same time because of German history and German cinema history, it was his right to do that film, and he needed to do that film. I don’t know. Maybe Murnau’s telling me I don’t have the right.”

Additional reporting by Eric Kohn.

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