'Lord of the Flies' is about toxic masculinity. 2 men want it to be about girls instead.
You remember “Lord of the Flies,” right? The book we all had to read in junior high?
In case you don’t, it’s the 1950s novel (made into a film in 1963) about a group of preparatory school boys who find themselves stranded on an island without any adults. Things quickly devolve as they try to survive; there is violence and death and mayhem.
It’s not a feel-good story.
Cut to 2017, where Deadline announced this week that a remake of this classic story is in the works — with a twist.
People on Twitter were not having it.
The idea of taking the basic story of "Lord of the Flies" and giving it a new gender spin isn't automatically awful, but these critiques raise some good points.
For many, the book has long been viewed as highlighting what people today call "toxic masculinity," the idea that, if left unchecked, all men — of any age — will fall back on violence and aggression. How that story will translate to an all-female cast is anybody’s guess.
Done well, it could end up being a compelling and meaningful story full of well-rounded and diverse characters struggling to surive ... who just happen to be female. To make that happen, however, the film would likely need to be a pretty solid departure from the original novel.
But it doesn’t sound like that's the plan.
The project is being spearheaded by two men, the filmmaking duo of Scott McGehee and Evan Siegel, who say they plan to create a "very faithful but contemporized adaptation of the book … with the interpersonal conflicts and bullying."
Which isn’t inspiring a lot of confidence in how this is going to all shake out.
It's no secret that gender disparity remains alive and well in Hollywood — despite movies helmed by women showing they can more than carry their weight — so a project with an all-female cast sounds like a great idea. But it just seems like there's got to be a better way to elevate women in film than an all-girl retelling of "Lord of the Flies" created by two men.