The Lighthouse director Robert Eggers and stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson stopped by Deadline’s Cannes Studio ahead of the premiere of the film that bowed to raves in Directors’ Fortnight here. This was after Focus had acquired international on Eggers’ sophomore effort early in the festival. A24 is releasing domestically and co-financed with New Regency.
In the video above, Eggers describes the film as “something a little weirder” than his 2015 breakout The Witch and calls it “more dreadful than horror.” A tale of a pair of lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious island far off the coast of Maine in the 1890s, the salty, hypnotic and hallucinatory two-hander sees them go mad together. Says the director, “Nothing good happens when two men are left alone in a giant phallus.”
Shot entirely on black-and-white 35mm film, it’s co-written by Eggers and his brother Max. Dafoe tells us he sought out Robert Eggers after The Witch. “When you see a movie that has a strength or sensibility you have an affinity for, you sort of imagine who the filmmaker is. My game is always I like to try attach myself to filmmakers as an actor. They need actors and I like to work with strong filmmakers.”
Of Pattinson, who declined to discuss recent reports that he may step into The Batman‘s titular suit, Eggers says the actor told him he was “only interested in doing weird things.” Ultimately, the most challenging aspect of The Lighthouse for Pattinson was pulling off the period accent. Despite typically having a strong ear, the Brit says, “It’s a quite unusual accent for me… There’s no real reference for it.” Check out more from the trio above.
The Lighthouse is produced by RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira and Lourenço Sant’ Anna; Parts & Labor’s Jay Van Hoy; and Youree Henley.
The Deadline Studio is presented by Hyundai. Cameras provided by Blackmagic Design.