There is much discussion and debate surrounding the film industry at the moment, regarding the survival of movies that aren’t based on existing IP, but still manage to get a theatrical release and bring in the box office big bucks. For every success story like The Lost City, there are disappointments, such as Robert Eggers’ The Northman.
The Northman was by far the biggest budget Eggers had worked with, which he claims was $90 million, but the film’s financiers say was $70 million. Either way, the box office return of around $25 million was something of a disappointment.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Eggers has been discussing whether The Northman’s box office “failure” indicates dire things, regarding the prospects of large-scale original films that aren’t based on pre-existing IP; “it’s the decline of Western civilization, what can I say? Look around. Yeah, it’s horrible” and whether he needs to re-think his strategy going forward; “I need to re-strategise in terms of what I’m pitching to a studio. Like, how do I be me and survive in this environment?”
Eggers continued; “Because while they wouldn’t have me anyway, I wouldn’t want to direct a Marvel movie, and I’m also not going to try to get the rights to Spawn or something either. I’m going to keep doing what I’m going to do. But I know that everybody’s nervous right now, you know? Everybody’s nervous. And it’s justifiable.”
Eggers is actually supposed to be developing a project that actually is based on existing IP – Nosferatu – but he is unsure if it will come to fruition; “I don’t know if it’s going to happen; it seems as if Murnau doesn’t want me to do it, because it always seems to go awry. But Dracula, it’s been said, is the only new modern fairy tale that’s actually something different, and Murnau’s telling of it is its essential simple form by being a silent film. Basically, it’s been an important film to me since I was a kid. That doesn’t necessarily mean I should remake it, but it’s certainly something I’ve been obsessed with and spent a lot of time thinking about. So, let’s see.”
While we wait to find out if Nosferatu can be resurrected, check out our guide to the best monster movies.