Lord of the Flies looks set to get a feminist make-over as What Maisie Knew’s Scott McGehee and David Siegel have agreed on a deal with Warner Bros. to rewrite the William Golding novel and take up the co-directors chair.
The filmmakers have stated they want to stay as faithful as possible to the Golding’s version with just a slight twist that the young students stranded on the Island will be made up of an all female cast, giving the story a more “contemporary” tone.
In the original 1954 book, the story focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves during a nuclear war.
“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,” Siegel told Deadline. “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 behaviour they saw in grownups before they were marooned.”
McGehee said 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,” he said. “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.”
The very thought of changing the story so dramatically has already ruffled quite a few feathers with a social media backlash gaining traction.