Even if I were trapped on a desert island, you couldn’t get me to watch an all-female remake of “Lord of the Flies.”
But that’s the high-concept film that Scott McGehee and David Siegel plan to write and direct for Warner Bros.
Deadline.com, which broke the news Wednesday night, calls it “an intriguing take,” which says something about the level of intrigue in Hollywood.
Twitter reacted by chasing down the idea and stabbing it with sharpened sticks. Nobody, it seems, wants two dudes to make a girl version of “Lord of the Flies.”
William Golding’s novel describes a group of British schoolboys who crash-land on an island in the Pacific Ocean during a world war. Despite an abundance of food and a lack of predators on their little paradise, Her Majesty’s innocents quickly devolve into mayhem and murder.
The novel sold poorly when it was first published in 1954, but went on to became a staple of middle and high school English classes, subjecting generations of students to its supremely cynical theme about human nature. It persists in schools today largely because the novel’s symbolism is about as subtle as getting bashed in the head with a rock. Weep not for Piggy but for the teachers who’ve spent millions of hours grading papers about What the Conch Really Means.
Peter Brook directed the first film version in 1963, and Harry Hook made an even more violent movie in 1990. And now, because Hollywood never met a stale idea it didn’t like, we’ll have to endure a girl-on-girl version. Who you gonna call?
“We want to do a very faithful but contemporized adaptation of the book, but our idea was to do it with all girls rather than boys,” Siegel told Deadline. “It is a timeless story that is especially relevant today, with the interpersonal conflicts and bullying, and the idea of children forming a society and replicating the behavior they saw in grownups before they were marooned.”
So, basically, “Mean Girls” with pork.
The whole project sounds destined to reinscribe stereotypes about young women — just as Golding’s original presents the most reductive vision of young men.
McGehee, who is reportedly “super eager to put pen to paper,” told Deadline that the novel “has a lot of meaning embedded in it,” which should thrill Beelzebub.
Ron Charles is the editor of Book World and host of TotallyHipVideoBookReview.com