Look, I love, love, love Robert Eggers‘ The Lighthouse. But my love for the 2019 black-and-white drama, weirdness and all, did not prepare me for the revelation that is the original, loose pitch Eggers had when he was trying to get the project off the ground.
Eggers opened up about The Lighthouse‘s original pitch while chatting with Film Independent for their “Coffee Talks” Q&A series recently. In addition to other topics covered during the hour-long chat, including his upcoming project The Northman, Eggers spoke about The Lighthouse. As Eggers recalls (via Indiewire), he was in a “really lucky” position with A24 and New Regency following the surprise success of his 2015 feature The Witch. With what amounted to a creative blank check available to use for his next project, Eggers began sharing the earliest bits of The Lighthouse. He explained that what he shared made A24 and New Regency “happy to be in business with me, and they liked the script and certainly thought it was strange but exciting.” But what about the original pitch accompanying the script, then it its early stages?
“There wasn’t much of a pitch, really. There was convincing to do it on 35mm black-and-white negative, and there was also some full-frontal male nudity, an erection, and they were kind of like, look, it can be black and white and weird and all this stuff, but it can’t be rated NC-17.”
Considering there is no full-frontal nudity or erections in The Lighthouse, it’s seems those aspects of the story were given the axe. As Eggers tells it, he handled it well, telling Film Independent: “I thought that was very fair. If you’re going to go make ‘The Lighthouse,’ you’re making something that is hard to describe.” To this, I can’t argue since what did end up on screen is as confounding as it is intriguing. Having The Lighthouse stars Robert Pattinson or Willem Dafoe let their private parts fly free probably would have been sensory overload, even if it would have been very much appreciated by some viewers (read: me). But also, maybe it would’ve been cool to allow just one erection into The Lighthouse to soften the blow of all that murder.
You can watch Eggers’ complete chat with Film Independent below. For more, check out our round-up of the best new movies to watch on Amazon Prime (The Lighthouse made the cut!).
Yesterday we sat down to chat with the ever fascinating #RobertEggers (The Lighthouse, The Witch) for our new virtual #CoffeeTalks series ☕️Wake up and watch here:
Posted by Film Independent on Friday, April 17, 2020