Goth Chick News: Bill Skarsgård as THE Classic Vampire? Yes Please

Goth Chick News: Bill Skarsgård as THE Classic Vampire? Yes Please

It was during the silent movie era, which lasted from 1894 to 1929, that Bram Stoker penned his most famous work, Dracula (1897). However, it wasn’t Stoker who decided to bring his vampire to the silver screen, but instead, German filmmaker F.W. Murnau ultimately plagiarized Dracula for his 1922 film Nosferatu, kicking off one of the first high-profile copyright cases in history.

Florence Stoker, Bram Stoker’s widow, was living in London when she received the program of the Berlin premiere of Nosferatu that proclaimed the film was “adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” She realized Nosferatu was violating Stoker’s copyright and therefore costing her royalties. As his widow, Florence was entirely reliant on Stoker’s legacy, so she decided to act.

What ensued was a years-long international legal battle between Florence Stoker and Nosferatu’s production company. After multiple appeals, bankruptcies and liquidations, Florence changed course and requested instead that all copies and negatives of Nosferatu be destroyed. Eventually, the German court ruled in her favor, but no one ever provided any physical evidence that the destruction had been carried out. Perhaps Florence was distracted, as around this time she negotiated the sale of Dracula’s film rights to Universal Studios which released its sanctioned version in 1931.

Though it is true that no single, original, and complete print of Nosferatu survived, certainly many copies did, which were more or less complete, while still others existed in fragments. The handful of prints that escaped the purge eventually made their way to film archives and museums in Germany, France and New York, where preservationists took up the painstaking task of restoring Count Orlok to his original glory. Today, the current versions of Nosferatu that exist are patchwork compilations of all those prints; seeming to indicate that in spite of Florence Stoker’s best efforts, Nosferatu really does not die.

Which brings us to our current news.

The much-anticipated first official trailer for the Robert Eggers-directed Nosferatu debuted exclusively in movie theaters the weekend of June 24, and it’s now officially available online. Eggers (The Witch, The Northman) also wrote the script and serves as a producer alongside Chris Columbus, Eleanor Columbus, Jeff Robinov, and John Graham.

Bill Skarsgård, who is racking up quite the portfolio of creepy characters, is playing Nosferatu/Count Orlok in the film. Unfortunately, the trailer keeps him under wraps for now. But I personally fell in love with Skarsgård’s… um… acting abilities when he appeared in his first headline role as a different vampire in the series Hemlock Grove. It’s still streaming on Netflix and also happens to contain one of the best werewolf transformation sequences I have ever seen. I highly recommend checking out at least season one.

Nosferatu has some other people in it too. Namely Willem Dafoe, Nicholas Hoult, Emma Corrin and Lily-Rose Depp.

Focus Features will release Nosferatu in theaters on December 25, 2024.

A very merry Christmas indeed.

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Thomas Parker

I’m very interested in this news, though Eggers’ work has been hit-or-miss with me. I thought The Witch was superb (I even wrote about it for some oddball “fantasy literature” site), I loathed The Lighthouse, and I never saw The Northmen. But based on the two movies I have seen, this looks right up his alley. Sounds like it’s time to lay in some garlic.

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