Anya Taylor-Joy made her feature film debut in Robert Eggers’ 2015 supernatural horror The Witch. She played the daughter of a Puritan family that encounters evil forces lurking in the woods. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success. So it makes perfect sense for the duo to take on a remake of Nosferatu, the 1922 silent horror film loosely adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
The news comes by way of a Los Angeles Times profile piece featuring Anya Taylor-Joy. Mixed into the conversation about her various upcoming roles, was a mention of Nosferatu which could possibly begin production late next year. It’s still unclear what role the actress will play in the remake (or who else will be joining her) but Eggers’ version of the horror classic has been a long time coming.
The project was first announced in 2015, after the premiere of The Witch at Sundance Film Festival, and has been in the works for almost six years. Eggers took a break from Nosferatu to shoot The Lighthouse starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, as well as The Northman starring Nicole Kidman, Dafoe, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Alexander Skarsgård.
While it seemed like the film was destined to be stuck in production hell forever, the statements by Anya Taylor-Joy on the project suggest that it’s still going ahead. She mentions her role in the film amid a series of upcoming projects, including a thriller with The Queen’s Gambit writer and director Scott Frank, and a prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road.
Speaking enthusiastically about her acting work the Anya Taylor-Joy said, “All my friends are always like, ‘What are you doing?!? Take a break.’ But the roles are too good.” The actress goes on to explain that she wouldn’t be able to deal with it if she didn’t say yes. “I wouldn’t cope. I’d rather just go for it and do my best.”
Loosely based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nosferatu was first produced as a silent film by the German director F. W. Murnau in 1922. The film was directed by F. W. Murnau and starred Max Schreck as Count Orlok, a vampire with an interest in both a new residence and the wife of his estate agent. It isn’t clear if the Anya Taylor-Joy version plays out the same way.
As an unauthorized and unofficial adaptation of the 1897 Dracula novel, various names and other details were altered. This included Count Dracula’s name being changed to Count Orlok. It is believed by some that these changes were implemented in an attempt to avoid accusations of copyright infringement.
But that wasn’t sufficient as the movie became the subject of several lawsuits from the Stoker estate, one of which ended with the order for all copies of the film to be destroyed. However, a few prints of Nosferatu survived, and the film came to be regarded as an influential masterpiece of cinema. This Anya Taylor-Joy version could bring it back to prominence.
Nosferatu has also gone on to be an influence in many forms of media including movies, television, and even the music video for Under Pressure by rock group, Queen. We will surely hear more about the Anya Taylor-Joy movie soon enough.