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Suspiria remake writer doesn't share director's passion for original

Suspiria Dakota Johnson Luca Guadagnino

The upcoming remake of Dario Argento's 1977 film SUSPIRIA is a passion project for director Luca Guadagnino, who has been a fan of the original film since he first saw it 33 years ago at the age of 14 - a viewing that made him realize "that everything was possible in cinema". For 25 years, he and frequent collaborator Tilda Swinton have been dreaming of being able to make their own version of SUSPIRIA; the director and actress say they discussed their mutual appreciation for the original film during the very first conversation they ever had with each other.

Someone who doesn't share their enthusiasm for the '77 film is the remake's screenwriter David Kajganich, who admitted to the L.A. Times that,

I’m not a fan of the original SUSPIRIA, to be honest. I’m a fan of it as an art piece, but as a narrative it makes almost no sense.

It was only when I started to hear the really concerned rumblings of Argento superfans that I thought, ‘Uh oh!’ I wonder if people will let this be its own thing. And I completely get that — I have my list of 10 films that if anyone dares remake it, I will take to social media immediately."

Kajganich may not be a fan of the original, but he put his all into helping Guadagnino craft a different take on the concept that digs deeper into what was going on in the world at large at the time when Argento's film was released. Set in Berlin, their story unfolds against the backdrop of the German Autumn events of 1977, with glimpses of news reports about true events like the hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner. The screenwriter says, 

It was a fascinating moment in history because you had a generation of students and young people who were sick in their souls about how much denial there was in their parents and grandparents’ generations about German culpability in World War II. The city was immersed in that struggle, and in the middle of all of that — or rather, behind all of that — there is this dance company, where an American is getting her education, in a way, in how a modern kind of fascism might look."

Starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Lutz Ebersdorf, Chloë Grace Moretz, and SUSPIRIA '77's Jessica Harper, Guadagnino's SUSPIRIA has the following synopsis: 

A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe's artistic director (Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (Ebersdorf). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

Guadagnino has said, 

I hope that the movie comes across as a relentless experience that’s going to go deep into your skin all the way down into your spine. I want the movie to perform as the most disturbing experience you can have. The movie is about being immersed in a world of turmoil and uncompromising darkness."

I'm not too concerned that Kajganich wasn't a fan of the original. The love Guadagnino and Swinton have for it does more than balance things out, and honestly, I lean more toward Kajganich's opinion myself. But if the remake can even come close to having the effect on viewers that Guadagnino hopes it will, their daring decision to try to re-do a genre classic will have been worth it.

SUSPIRIA is scheduled to be released on November 2nd.

Extra Tidbit: Are you looking forward to the new SUSPIRIA?
Source: THRLA Times

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