Willem Dafoe earned some of the best reviews of his career, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, for his warm and charismatic turn in The Florida Project, Sean Baker’s much-anticipated follow-up to the indie sensation Tangerine. And Dafoe has apparently seen a pattern; he’s just hitched himself to another rising indie director, with a leading role in his big follow-up.
The director is Robert Eggers, who scared and delighted us with The Witch back in 2016. His next feature is titled The Lighthouse, and it is, per THR, “a thriller about an aging lighthouse keeper.” Dafoe will play that lighthouse keeper, reportedly named “Old” (okay, sure); the film is reportedly set in Nova Scotia, circa early 20th century. It’s a rare leading man turn for Mr. Dafoe, who told THR, “I’m like the boy next door, if you live next door to a mausoleum.”
But don’t worry about Dafoe going broke doing all these little indies – he co-stars (alongside Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, and Amber Heard) in James Wan’s big-screen adaptation of DC’s Aquaman, due out later this year. And if anybody should know how many little movies you can afford to do if you take the occasional giant one, it’s Spider-Man co-star Willem Dafoe.