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SYFY WIRE Nosferatu

Nosferatu: Robert Eggers "Fearful" That Unrecognizable Bill Skarsgard "Might Not Get the Credit"

Bill Skarsgård doesn't need much makeup to give off that vampire vibe, but Robert Eggers decided to go the extra mile.

By Josh Weiss
A shadow of a thin clawed hand is cast over Ellen Hutter (Lily-Rose Depp) face in Nosferatu (2023).

With his penetrating gaze, high cheekbones, pale flesh, and an unparalleled talent for assuming one hell of a sinister grin, Bill Skarsgård already gives off the aura of a calculating vampire lord — no makeup or prosthetics required.

But if you're going to play Count Orlok, aka the OG cinematic bloodsucker, in a modern remake of Nosferatu, it doesn't hurt to go the extra undead mile. In a recent interview with Empire for the magazine's January 2024 issue, writer-director Robert Eggers promised that audiences won't be able to recognize the IT and John Wick: Chapter 4 actor when the film hits theaters on December 25, 2024.

Robert Eggers teases Bill Skarsgård as Count Orlok in Nosferatu remake

"I think the main thing is that he's even more a folk vampire. In my opinion, he looks like a dead Transylvanian nobleman, and in a way that we've never actually seen what an actual dead Transylvanian nobleman would look like and be dressed like," teased Eggers, who has wanted to place his own spin on the seminal vampire movie for decades. "Also, I'll say that Bill has so transformed, I'm fearful he might not get the credit that he deserves because he's just... he's not there."

RELATED: How Robert Eggers' Nosferatu Will "Go Beyond" Other Horror Films

The idea of depicting a purer iteration of a "folk vampire" is what sets Nosferatu apart from other vampire flicks, Eggers explained. While the 1922 original was technically an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, its central character hews "closer to vampire folklore" than the book that inspired it, especially since Nosferatu takes place several decades before the novel's publication.

Artwork for Nosferatu (2023)

"Even though Stoker steeped himself in Transylvanian folklore to concoct his thing, it was very much his interpretation of a vampire, mixed with things that were coming out of earlier 19th Century literature, mostly from England," the filmmaker added. "What I'm interested in is going back to the source. This is set in the 1830s, when even the modern world is a little bit less modern. That's also appealing to me about this version of the story."

Described by Focus Features as "Gothic tale of obsession between a haunted young woman in 19th Century Germany and the ancient Transylvanian vampire who stalks her," the project also features the talents of Nicholas Hoult (Renfield), Lily-Rose Depp (Wolf), Emma Corrin (Lady Chatterley’s Lover), Willem Dafoe (Inside), Simon McBurney (Carnival Row), and Ralph Ineson (The Green Knight).

"It's a scary film," Eggers continued. "It's a horror movie. It's a Gothic horror movie. And I do think that there hasn't been an old-school Gothic movie that's actually scary in a while. And I think that the majority of the audience will find this one to be the case."

Eggers produced Nosferatu alongside Jeff Robinov, John Graham, Chris Columbus, and Eleanor Columbus.

When does Robert Eggers Nosferatu release into theaters?

Nosferatu will sink its fangs into theaters on December 25, 2024. 

"The audacious filmmaking of Robert Eggers is always a gift for fans, and we can promise that his Nosferatu is planning quite the Christmas feast," Peter Kujawski, Chairman of Focus Features said in a statement Tuesday.

Want more bloodsucking goodness in the meantime? Head on over to Peacock for Nosferatu the VampyreThe Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, Vampire KnightDark Shadows, Vampire in VegasLet the Right One In, and more!