Four years after breaking onto the film scene with his acclaimed Sundance horror film “The Witch,” writer-director Robert Eggers is finally gearing up to return to the big screen this fall with follow-up feature “The Lighthouse.” Eggers’ latest pairs Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as two lighthouse keepers who psychologically unravel while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.
“The Lighthouse” debuted in May to critical acclaim at Directors’ Fortnight, where it was named the best film of the Cannes’ sidebar by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). Eggers reunited with “The Witch” cinematographer Jarin Blaschke to create the striking black-and-white look of the film. The movie was shot on 35mm film.
In his A- review out of Cannes, IndieWire’s chief critic Eric Kohn raved, “The film is a stunning showcase for Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe to unleash their wildest extremes, by positioning them at the center of a two-hander about a descent into madness in the middle of nowhere. It’s the best movie about bad roommates ever made.”
IndieWire awards editor Anne Thompson wrote at Cannes that Dafoe and Pattinson’s performances should factor into the upcoming Oscar race. The film’s period production elements could also be strong contenders. Dafoe is coming off back-to-back Oscar nominations for “The Florida Project” and “At Eternity’s Gate,” while Pattinson is one of the most critically beloved actors working today who is still seeking his first nomination. After breaking out at Cannes, A24 will kick up “The Lighthouse” awards campaign by screening the film at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
“The Lighthouse” is one of several Oscar hopefuls backed by A24 this year. The company already has Lulu Wang’s Sundance sensation “The Farewell” breaking out at the box office, plus the Safdie brothers’ new thriller “Uncut Gems” set for an awards season release along with “The Lighthouse.”
A24 will release “The Lighthouse” in select New York and Los Angeles theaters starting on October 18. The movie will expand across the country in the weeks following. Watch the first official trailer in the video below.