Bill Skarsgård has transformed himself into an “It” clown and a “John Wick” supervillain, but the actor reaches new depths as the vampire at the center of Robert Eggers’ long-gestating “Nosferatu,” according to the director.
Eggers told Empire magazine that Skarsgård is unrecognizable as the blood-sucking force, his performance incorporating Max Schreck and Klaus Kinski’s respective interpretations of the legendary character in FW Murnau’s 1922 film and Werner Herzog’s 1979 re-imagining.
“I will say that Bill has SO transformed, I’m afraid he won’t get the credit he deserves because he’s just… he’s not there,” Eggers said. “He wanted to honor those who had gone before him. This is all very subtle. But I think the main thing is that he’s even more of a popular vampire.
The “Witch” director continued, “In my opinion, he looks like a dead Transylvanian nobleman, and in a way that we’ve never actually seen what a dead Transylvanian nobleman would look like and dress like. »
“Nosferatu” stars Lily-Rose Depp as Ellen Hutter, who is obsessively seduced by Skarsgård’s Count Orlok. Nicholas Hoult is Thomas Hutter who fights to save his wife.
“It’s even more of Ellen’s story than previous versions. And Lily-Rose is absolutely phenomenal,” Eggers said, adding that the film is “scary” and “a gothic horror film.”
“I think there hasn’t been an old-school gothic movie that’s really scary in a while,” the “Northam” director said. “And I think the majority of the public will find that to be the case.”
Eggers has been working on “Nosferatu” since 2016, with Anya Taylor-Joy originally cast as Ellen Hutter. Taylor-Joy left the project with longtime collaborator Eggers due to scheduling conflicts. Willem Dafoe also stars.
“I’m so happy to have made ‘The Northman’ for the first time and learned what I learned,” Eggers said in July 2023. “When I think about the production plan for ‘Nosferatu’ that we had the first time, I’m sure I would have gotten it out of my butt somehow, but it’s hard not to imagine it being a failure… I’m trying to go beyond what I am capable of.
Focus Features’ “Nosferatu” will hit theaters in 2024.