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Nosferatu's Willem Dafoe says Robert Eggers' movie is so different from Shadow of the Vampire, he didn't connect the two

 Nosferatu/Shadow of the Vampire.
Nosferatu/Shadow of the Vampire.

Nosferatu isn't anything like his last bloodsucker movie, Shadow of the Vampire, says Willem Dafoe – despite them both centering on the titular creature of the night.

In the new issue of Total Film, which is out this Thursday and features Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire on the cover, the actor admitted that he never really made the connection between the 2000 mystery film and the new Robert Eggers' outing as their aesthetics and "intention" are "very different."

"I think Robert and [cinematographer] Jarin [Blaschke] were in a very good place, and he's getting more and more refined," Dafoe, who has previously collaborated with Eggers on The Lighthouse and The Northman, added. "It's a bigger scale – maybe not quite as big as The Northman, but he was very on top of it. I just saw some pieces, and I didn't get a sense of the film itself, but it was just beautifully photographed. I can’t think of another film that quite looks like it."


Directed by E. Elias Merhige, Shadow of the Vampire takes a fictional look behind the scenes of the filming of F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu back in the early 1920s. Dafoe plays Max Schreck, the actor bringing the monstrous Count Orlok to life, while John Malkovich portrays the filmmaker. Though there's more to Schreck than first appears...

Dafoe's work in the movie went on to earn him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, while the film itself received another nod for Best Makeup. Udo Kier, Eddie Izzard, John Aden Gillett, and Cary Elwes rounded out the supporting cast.

Lily-Rose Depp in Nosferatu
Lily-Rose Depp in Nosferatu

Inspired by the aforementioned silent film of the same name, Eggers' Nosferatu will explore the obsession between a haunted young woman and the terrifying vampire infatuated with her, which leads to all sorts of untold terrors. Nicholas Hoult, Lily-Rose Depp, Bill Skarsgård, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emma Corrin, Simon McBurney star alongside Dafoe, as does Eggers' fellow frequent collaborator Ralph Ineson (The Witch).

Nosferatu will be released on December 25, 2024 in the US and January 1, 2025 in the UK, and you can read more about Dafoe's career – plus a whole lot else besides – in the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves and digital newsstands on Thursday, January 4. Check out the covers below:

Total Film's Godzilla x Kong covers
Total Film's Godzilla x Kong covers

(Image credit: Warner Bros/Legendary/Total Film)

Pre-order the issue here to bag your copy, or click here to subscribe to Total Film and never miss another exclusive. You’ll get every issue before it's in stores, and you’ll get subscriber-exclusive covers.

Total Film's subscription offer
Total Film's subscription offer

(Image credit: Warner Bros/Legendary/Total Film)