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Female-led Lord of the Flies adaptation coming from Warner Bros.

Many of you remember reading “Lord of the Flies” by William Goldman in high school, only to be shown the 1963 movie and then ask your teacher, “So why did you make me read a book?” Classic as the film may be, the version this younger generation may see in schools will be far different than the one we saw, as Warner Bros. is gearing up for a new adaptation of the beloved story, this time with a slight twist.

Deadline got the news that WB is working on a new version of FLIES that will take the group of boys stranded on the island and replace them with young girls. The movie is set to be written and directed by WHAT MAISIE KNEW and BEE SEASON filmmakers Scott McGehee & David Siegel. The duo spoke about wanting to do a contemporary version while using the gender swap to create a new dynamic for audiences:

Siegel: 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. 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.
McGhee: [the subject matter] is aggressively suspenseful, and taking the opportunity to tell it in a way it hasn’t been told before, with girls rather than boys, is that it shifts things in a way that might help people see the story anew. It breaks away from some of the conventions, the ways we think of boys and aggression. People still talk about the movie and the book from the standpoint of pure storytelling. It is a great adventure story, real entertainment, but it has a lot of meaning embedded in it as well. We’ve gotten to think about this awhile as the rights were worked out, and we’re super eager to put pen to paper.

For those unfamiliar with the original story here is a plot synopsis via GoodReads:

When a plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. From the prophetic Simon and virtuous Ralph to the lovable Piggy and brutish Jack, each of the boys attempts to establish control as the reality - and brutal savagery - of their situation sets in. The boys' struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be.

Aside from the 1963 film from Peter Brook, Castle Rock made a movie version in 1990 directed by Harry Hook and starring a young James Badge Dale. No word yet on casting or a planned release for this new movie.

Although I haven’t seen the movie in some time I revisited the book earlier this year. The gender swap is indeed a somewhat interesting way to go about it, so at least it’s not another direct adaptation. However, the swap could be a negative for those who believe male aggression plays a role in the story. I mean, it's sort of the whole point of the story. I can’t help but feel it could be more insightful if it were a mixture of boys and girls. Who knows? I ain’t no fancy Hollywood person.

Source: Deadline

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