The bidding heats up for rights to the “real” Lord of the Flies movie

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

The Lord of the Flies movie, William Golding, New Regency

Here Piggy, Piggy, Piggy!

Odds are that you either read Lord of the Flies in grade school or you are familiar with the title. The story tells of a group of World War II era pre-teens who are marooned on an island and succumb to their animalistic instincts. Adapted a couple of times for the big screen, the brutal novel by author William Golding has become a modern masterpiece. But, while the examination of the darker side of human nature has connected with many, a much more inspiring version of the story exists. As a bonus, this hopeful version is completely true.

According to Deadline, THE REVENANT and 12 YEARS A SLAVE producer-financier New Regency looks to be "holding the big rock" in a heated bidding war for the true story of a group of boys who survived for more than a year on a deserted Pacific island. The outlet's report suggests that New Regency is offering a low seven-figure sum for the rights to the story, which the company aims to turn into a major motion picture.

Referred to as 'the real Lord of the Flies', the unique survivalist tale hails from historian and author Rutger Bregman’s new book Humankind.

What is the “real” Lord of the Flies movie?

As per Deadline:

Bregman’s narrative follows how in 1965 six friends, teenagers bored with their life at a boarding school on the Pacific island of Tonga, stole a fishing boat and set off on an adventure. A massive storm destroyed their vessel and after eight days drifting on the open waters, they washed up on a remote, uninhabited island. Marooned there, the boys overcame incredible adversity, largely through team work, ingenuity and resolve. Unlike William Golding’s classic tale of savagery, this is a story about the enduring power of friendship and loyalty. The boys managed to survive for 15 months – eating fish, coconuts, and birds – before being rescued by an Australian sailor whose interest in the island was piqued when he noticed unusual burning patches on its green cliffs.

The story of how Bregman pieces the little-known narrative together is worthy of a screen version in itself or could make a nice bookend for any screen retelling. Bregman tracked down the sailor – who himself has an interesting backstory – through some nifty detective work and travels to meet him in the Australian outback. It turns out the friendship between him and the boys has endured to this day.

Bregman’s story being the talk of Tinseltown occurred after a preview of his book was published by The Guardian last week. Since the snippet's publication, celebrities and government officials alike have shared the story with their wide-spread circles of influence online. As a result, the preview has been re-posted more than seven million times. As you can imagine, this level of exposure is bound to turn the heads of film studio execs, and so companies the likes of Netflix, MGM, Anonymous Content and Working Title have all become interested in acquiring the rights. That said, New Regency is still leader of the pack at the time of this article being written.

For the moment, Bregman and five subjects of the story are “collaborating and will make a decision together,” with regard to who will land the screen rights to their story.

Have you read Bregman's preview? How long do you think you would survive on a deserted island with upward of five other people all fighting for shelter, food and sanity? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.