Robert Eggers

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Robert Eggers
Robert Eggers - The Witch,Fantastic Fest 2015-1667 (28894993650) (cropped).jpg
Eggers in 2015
Robert Houston Eggers

(1983-07-07) July 7, 1983 (age 39)
New York City, New York, U.S.
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • production designer
Years active2007–present
Notable work
Spouse(s)Alexandra Shaker

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 elements, as well as his 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, and the couple had a pair of twins, Max and Sam. The family then moved to Lee, New Hampshire in 1990 when his step-father became a provost at University of New Hampshire.[3][2] He moved back to New York City in 2001 to attend an acting conservatory.

Eggers was inspired by his childhood in New England and frequently visited the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts while writing his first feature.[4]


Eggers began his career as a designer and director of theatre productions in New York before transitioning to working in film.[5] 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 horror fantasy 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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 Styles dropped out.[2] Eggers plans to make Nosferatu his fourth film.[2]

Eggers is currently developing a miniseries based on the life of Rasputin.[10] He also has developed a medieval film called The Knight, that ultimately was not produced.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Eggers is married to Dr. Alexandra Shaker, a clinical psychologist whom he has known since childhood.[11] They live with their son, Houston, in Brooklyn, New York City.[11][4]


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
2015 The Witch Yes Yes No Feature directorial debut
2019 The Lighthouse Yes Yes Yes Co-written with Max Eggers
2022 The Northman Yes Yes Yes Co-written with Sjón

Short films[edit]

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

Production designer[edit]

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


Eggers works with several actors multiple times.

2015 2019 2022
Willem Dafoe ☒N ☒N
Kate Dickie ☒N ☒N
Ralph Ineson ☒N ☒N
Anya Taylor-Joy ☒N ☒N


Year Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Budget Box Office[12]
2015 The Witch 90% (7.8/10 average rating) (332 ratings)[13] 83 (46 reviews)[14] $4 million[15] $40.4 million
2019 The Lighthouse 90% (8.0/10 average rating) (385 ratings)[16] 83 (52 reviews)[17] $11 million[18] $18.3 million
2022 The Northman 89% (7.7/10 average rating) (323 ratings)[19] 82 (60 reviews)[20] $70–90 million[21][22] $68.9 million


  1. ^ "Robert Eggers Biography". AllMovie. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h 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". Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Nicola (March 18, 2016). "New Hampshire Director Sifts His Home Soil". Valley News. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  5. ^ Bloom, Jessica. "Designer-Turned-Director Robert Eggers Discusses His Horror Film 'The Witch'". Format Magazine. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Barter, Pavel (January 26, 2020). "Nicole Kidman in Belfast's The Northman movie". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 22, 2016). "The Witch Helmer Robert Eggers To Write, Direct Rasputin Miniseries For MRC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Robert Eggers - Box Office), retrieved May 5, 2022
  13. ^ The Witch (2016), retrieved March 14, 2020
  14. ^ The Witch, retrieved March 14, 2020
  15. ^ "2016 Feature Film Study" (PDF). Film L.A. Inc. May 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  16. ^ The Lighthouse (2019), retrieved March 14, 2020
  17. ^ The Lighthouse, retrieved March 14, 2020
  18. ^ Matheou, Demetrios (December 16, 2019). "Robert Eggers on why his actors endured 'physical misery' whilst making 'The Lighthouse'". Screen Daily. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  19. ^ The Northman, retrieved May 6, 2022
  20. ^ The Northman, retrieved April 21, 2022
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "Robert Eggers's Historical Visions Go Mainstream". The New Yorker. April 2022. Retrieved April 25, 2022.

External links[edit]