Once upon a time, the logic behind a remake was “We can take a film from the past and, perhaps, make it better. With today’s tools; With today’s stars; We can tell the story again, but make it new!” Somewhere along the way, that logic gave way to an onslaught of films that either didn’t need to be remade because they were already classics, really weren’t old enough for there to have been a big enough leap in visual effects to justify them, or were watered-down, toothless rehashes that screamed of “cash grab.” Examples of the former? Scarface, The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean’s 11, and Father of The Bride (there are many more!). Examples of the latter? Total Recall, The Bad News Bears, Arthur, and RoboCop (there are soooo many more!).
Then there’s the 1922 silent masterpiece Nosferatu, which was a haunting big screen take on the Eastern European Dracula folklore. It was remade back in 1979, when Werner Herzog made Nosferatu The Vampyre. That film was well-received by fans, but if ever there was a film that could benefit from a retelling using modern day storytelling tools it’s this one. The key to remaking Nosferatu and not having it turn out to be something akin to Dracula Untold, though, is to hire the right filmmaker for the job. You need an artist.
And it looks like Jeff Robinov’s production house Studio 8 has done just that…
Robert Eggers just won the directing prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The movie that won him the prize was a horror film called The Witch, which scared up great reviews and palpable buzz at the festival. Studio 8 has tapped him to write and direct an as yet untitled Nosferatu remake. It’s said that the film will be a visceral adaptation of the F.W. Murnau-directed original, and if what critics have been saying about The Witch is true then Eggers is just the man to do it justice.
What do you think? Should Nosferatu be left alone? Or would you trust it in the hands of a capable filmmaker like Eggers?