Four years after making his debut with the nerve-rattling period piece The Witch, director Robert Eggers has returned with The Lighthouse. Eggers’ follow-up to his breakout horror hit is a black-and-white film shot on 35mm, and stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. Thanks to the first official photo, you no longer have to rely on your lousy imagination to figure out what that looks like:
If you’re thinking, “Damn, these seamen look cranky,” that’s because Pattinson and Dafoe were 100-percent miserable while filming what A24 describes as a “fantasy horror story set in the world of old sea-faring myths.” The actors discussed the experience in a 2018 piece for Interview, in which Dafoe said “the conditions were so harsh” that they “hardly talked outside of scenes.” Pattinson recalled a particularly horrific day when he had to shoot a scene that required him to be repeatedly sprayed with water—and not in the fun way, like when a shirtless Leonardo DiCaprio frolics in the park with a water gun in his off season:
That’s the closest I’ve come to punching a director. However much I love Robert [Eggers], there was a point where I did five takes walking across the beach, and after a while I was like, ‘What the fuck is going on? I feel like you’re just spraying a fire hose in my face.’ And he was like, ‘I am spraying a fire hose in your face.’ It was like some kind of torture.
The kind of torture that yields incredible art, one imagines (or hopes). The Lighthouse will premiere at Cannes next month before hitting theaters sometime later this year.