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Willem Dafoe Joins a Second Nosferatu Remake, Basically


Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck/Count Orlok in 2000’s Shadow of the Vampire.
Screenshot: Lions Gate

Willem Dafoe was born to star in a remake of the classic, 1922 German vampire film Nosferatu, which is why I guess he’s doing it twice. Soon, he’ll reteam with his Northman and The Lighthouse collaborator, director Robert Eggers, in a reimagining of the classic horror movie. But it won’t be the first time Dafoe will star in Nosferatu, more or less.

Shadow of the Vampire is a rather obscure movie from 2000 about the making of Nosferatu in 1921, which starred Dafoe as the actor Max Schreck (a name Tim Burton later used for Christopher Walken’s character in Batman Returns), who played the monstrous Dracula analog Count Orlok in the original film. But what the movie posits is that original director F.W. Murnau (played by John Malkovich) found an actual vampire to play the role, and tried to pass off Orlok as a rather extreme method actor named Schreck. It’s quite good, and fun besides. Check it:

Shadow of The Vampire (2000) Official Trailer

Dafoe was nominated for an Academy Award for his perfect portrayal of Schreck/Orlok, so perhaps that’s why he’s in talks to team up with Eggers for the director’s version. But despite Dafoe’s previous performance, Deadline reports that we don’t actually know who he’ll be playing. Right now, Bill Skarsgård has the Orlok role alongside previously cast actors Lily Rose-Depp and Nicholas Hoult. But honestly, Dafoe should just be given a second chance at the vampire. Skarsgård’s got some extra-long fangs to fill if he wants to match Dafoe’s original performance.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.


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