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Robert Eggers

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Robert Eggers
Eggers in 2015
Born
Robert Houston Eggers

(1983-07-07) July 7, 1983 (age 41)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupations
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • production designer
  • film producer
Years active2007–present
SpouseAlexandra Shaker
Children1

Robert Houston Eggers (born July 7, 1983)[1] is an American filmmaker and production designer. He is best known for writing and directing the historical horror films The Witch (2015) and The Lighthouse (2019), as well as directing and co-writing the historical fiction epic film The Northman (2022). His films are noted for their folkloric and mythological elements, as well as his thorough efforts to ensure historical authenticity.[2]

Early life[edit]

Eggers was born in New York City in 1983 to Kelly Houston. Eggers does not know who his biological father is.[2] Soon after, he and his mother moved to Laramie, Wyoming, where his mother met and married Walter Eggers, with whom she had twins, Max and Sam. The family then moved to Lee, New Hampshire, in 1990 when his stepfather became a provost at the University of New Hampshire.[3][2] He moved to New York City in 2001 to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.[2] There in downtown New York he would gain interest in designing, directing, and theatre. He would additionally show interest in filming, by directing and designing short films, before going big. [4]

Eggers was inspired by his childhood in New England and frequently visited the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, while writing his first feature.[5]

Career[edit]

Eggers began his career as a designer and director of theatre productions in New York before transitioning to working in film.[6] In 2015, Eggers made his directorial debut with horror film The Witch, based on his own script and starring Anya Taylor-Joy. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2015. A24 acquired the film, and released it theatrically on February 19, 2016.[2] Critical reception was largely positive, and the film earned over $40 million against a budget of $4 million.[2]

His follow-up film, The Lighthouse (2019), also a period piece, was critically acclaimed. Eggers directed the film, and co-wrote the screenplay with his brother, Max Eggers, and it stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.[7]

In 2022, Eggers's Amleth-inspired Viking epic film The Northman was released, starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk, and Willem Dafoe.[8]

In July 2015, it was reported that Eggers would write and direct a remake of the 1922 silent film Nosferatu, based on the Dracula mythology. The film is set to be produced by Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen for Studio 8.[9] In November 2016, Eggers expressed surprise that the Nosferatu remake was going to be his second film, saying, "It feels ugly and blasphemous and egomaniacal and disgusting for a filmmaker in my place to do Nosferatu next. I was really planning on waiting a while, but that's how fate shook out." Eggers had previously directed his high school's performance of the Nosferatu play, and was hired to direct a professional version of the play due to his work. Eggers credited this as the event that inspired him to pursue a career in filmmaking.[10] Eggers eventually opted to delay his version of the film, going on to direct The Lighthouse and The Northman first. Taylor-Joy and Harry Styles were attached to the cast, but both dropped out in 2022.[2][11] In September 2022, it was reported that the film will star Bill Skarsgård in the title role alongside Lily-Rose Depp.[12] Eggers now plans to make Nosferatu his fourth film.[2]

Eggers is currently developing a miniseries based on the life of Rasputin.[13] He has also developed a medieval film called The Knight, which has yet to be produced.[2]

Eggers has frequently collaborated with cinematographer Jarin Blaschke and editor Louise Ford. Actors Ralph Ineson, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Willem Dafoe have appeared in multiple films of his each, and composer Mark Korven has scored two.

Personal life[edit]

Eggers is married to Alexandra Shaker, a clinical psychologist whom he has known since childhood.[14] They have a son, Houston.[14] They reside in Brooklyn, New York City.[5]

Filmography[edit]

Feature film

Year Title Director Writer Producer
2015 The Witch Yes Yes No
2019 The Lighthouse Yes Yes Yes
2022 The Northman Yes Yes Yes
2024 Nosferatu Yes Yes Yes

Short film

Year Title Director Writer Notes
2007 Hansel and Gretel Yes Yes Also production designer
2008 The Tell-Tale Heart Yes Yes
2015 Brothers Yes Yes

Production designer

Year Title Notes
2009 Drawing from Life Short film
2010 Prelude and Fugue
Confessional Stories: Voluntary Damnation
Confessional Stories: First Confession
Monster
2011 The Tailor
The Five Stages of Grief
Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film! Documentary
In the Pines Short film
2012 Anemone
Legacy
Esther
2013 The House at the Edge of the Galaxy
Vivace!
Spirit Cabinet Feature film
2014 Rose Short film

Influences and style[edit]

Eggers has cited the 1922 German Expressionist horror film Nosferatu and 1983 documentary From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga as his biggest influences, films that inspired him to become a filmmaker.[15] In a 2014 interview with Filmmaker, Eggers described fairytales, folktales, comparative religion and mythology as his primary interests;[16] his films are characterized, unsurprisingly, by their folkloric, mythological, and historical elements.

Frequent collaborators[edit]

Work
Actor
2015 2019 2022 2024
The Witch
Ralph Ineson
Kate Dickie
Anya Taylor-Joy
Willem Dafoe

Reception[edit]

Year Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Budget Box office[17]
2015 The Witch 90% (7.8/10 average rating) (332 ratings)[18] 83 (46 reviews)[19] $4 million[20] $40.4 million
2019 The Lighthouse 90% (8.0/10 average rating) (385 ratings)[21] 83 (52 reviews)[22] $11 million[23] $18.3 million
2022 The Northman 90% (7.7/10 average rating) (372 ratings)[24] 82 (60 reviews)[25] $70–90 million[26][27] $68.9 million

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robert Eggers Biography". AllMovie. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Knight, Sam (March 28, 2022). "Robert Eggers's Historical Visions Go Mainstream". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on March 29, 2022. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  3. ^ "Robert Stroud Houston Obituary - Visitation & Funeral Information". www.brewittfuneralhome.com. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "BIOGRAPHY". Robert Eggers. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Nicola (March 18, 2016). "New Hampshire Director Sifts His Home Soil". Valley News. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  6. ^ Bloom, Jessica. "Designer-Turned-Director Robert Eggers Discusses His Horror Film 'The Witch'". Format Magazine. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  7. ^ Fear, David (October 25, 2019). "Drunken Sailors and Movie Stars: Robert Eggers on Making The Lighthouse". Rolling Stone. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Barter, Pavel (January 26, 2020). "Nicole Kidman in Belfast's The Northman movie". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 28, 2015). "Studio 8 Sets Nosferatu Remake; The Witch's Robert Eggers To Write & DirectDirect". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  10. ^ O'Falt, Chris (November 11, 2016). "Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast: Witch Director Robert Eggers' Lifelong Obsession with 'Nosferatu' and His Plans For a Remake (Episode 13)". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 30, 2022). "Bill Skarsgard & Lily-Rose Depp To Star In 'Nosferatu', Robert Eggers' Follow-Up To 'Northman' For Focus". Deadline. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  12. ^ Vlessing, Etan (September 30, 2022). "Bill Skarsgard, Lily-Rose Depp in Talks for Robert Eggers' 'Nosferatu' Remake". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 22, 2016). "The Witch Helmer Robert Eggers To Write, Direct Rasputin Miniseries For MRC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Knight, Sam (March 28, 2022). "Robert Eggers's Historical Visions Go Mainstream". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on March 29, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Movies That Changed My Life: 'The Witch' Director Robert Eggers". IndieWire. February 26, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  16. ^ Rizov, Vadim (July 17, 2014). "Robert Eggers | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine | Publication with a focus on independent film, offering articles, links, and resources. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  17. ^ Robert Eggers - Box Office), retrieved May 5, 2022
  18. ^ The Witch (2016), February 19, 2016, retrieved March 14, 2020
  19. ^ The Witch, retrieved March 14, 2020
  20. ^ "2016 Feature Film Study" (PDF). Film L.A. Inc. May 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  21. ^ The Lighthouse (2019), October 25, 2019, retrieved March 14, 2020
  22. ^ The Lighthouse, retrieved March 14, 2020
  23. ^ Matheou, Demetrios (December 16, 2019). "Robert Eggers on why his actors endured 'physical misery' whilst making 'The Lighthouse'". Screen Daily. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  24. ^ The Northman, April 22, 2022, retrieved February 25, 2023
  25. ^ The Northman, retrieved April 21, 2022
  26. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (April 20, 2022). "Box Office: 'The Bad Guys,' Viking Epic 'The Northman' and Nicolas Cage's 'Massive Talent' to Battle 'Fantastic Beasts 3'". Variety. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  27. ^ "Robert Eggers's Historical Visions Go Mainstream". The New Yorker. April 2022. Retrieved April 25, 2022.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Adrian Gmelch (2023). Art-Horror: The Films of Ari Aster and Robert Eggers. Create Space. ISBN 9798364720719.

External links[edit]