Sound the conch
Top image: Still, ‘Lord of the Flies’ (1963) dir. Peter Brook
Italian director Luca Guadagnino is planning to revisit William Golding’s legendary 1953 novel Lord of the Flies with a new adaptation written by Patrick Ness, the author best known for his young adult novels (A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy).
Still, ‘Lord of the Flies’ (1963) dir. Peter Brook
The project is one of several on the cards for the director, who following the success of his Suspiria remake in 2018, launched The Staggering Girl at Cannes in 2019, directed an upcoming HBO mini-series We Are Who We Are and is rumoured to be working on a new Bob Dylan biopic – not to mention his Call Me By Your Name sequel, set for release later this year.
Before Ness came on board, the remake was supposedly set to subvert the gender roles of the original, casting a group of adolescent girls in place of the pack of English choir boys whose strict behavioural programming descends into savagery and blood-lust. Now though, the film is set to feature an all-male ensemble, following in the footsteps of the two existing adaptations, made in 1963 and 1990.
Though they both took the name of the novel, the later, American re-make deviates significantly from the original story (anyone unfamiliar with the book should start with the 1963 film version). Not only are the marooned boys military cadets, they are accompanied on the island by a lone adult (the pilot of the crashed plane), who, despite intruding on the story’s authenticity, stays true to its general mood by being stabbed to death in a cave with a makeshift spear. How Guadagnino’s chooses to interpret the story remains to be seen, but accompanied by Ness, it will undoubtedly be worth watching.