A24’s The Lighthouse managed to solidify Robert Pattinson (even before the Batman casting) as a master of reinvention, but the movie could have been even stranger than what materialized from being trapped in a lighthouse with Willem Dafoe. Stranger than the “ferocious masturbation” scene that Pattinson claimed left director Robert Eggers “a little in shock” after shooting? Yes, but this time, Eggers is the one doing the talking, and he reveals that the movie would have been more sexually graphic as originally pitched.
The film, which is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, also dabbled heavily in the art of flatulence in addition to all that madness, given that A24 was keen to embrace the weird with Eggers. However, A24 did draw the line on talk of graphic nudity and a visible “erection” from one of the male leads. Which one? That’ll remain a mystery, but here’s what Eggers said during a Film Independent-hosted Q&A session (via IndieWire):
“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.”
The Lighthouse was never meant to even vaguely resemble a blockbuster, but an NC-17 rating wouldn’t have fared well for this art house film either. So, A24 made the wise call because, who knows, a full-frontal shot might have ruined that cinematography Oscar nod in a movie that some feel was already snubbed to some degree. It was just delightfully weird enough without a naked Pattinson or Defoe strutting around onscreen. Still, Eggers also told the Q&A session that A24 was “happy” to make a movie with him following The Witch, and for solid reason, so yes, please go enjoy it on Amazon Prime if you haven’t seen it already.