Is Lord of the Flies still part of the public school reading curriculum? It was when I was in middle school or high school (I can’t remember) and that was the last time I read it. The William Golding book is about a group of British schoolboys stranded on some kind of tropical island. The thin veneer of modern life and civilization is stripped away quickly as the boys revert to a feral, “savage” state. There are many layers to Golding’s commentary, from what he’s saying about human nature, to what he’s saying about modern society and the basest instincts of man, to perhaps even some commentary on ingrained toxic masculinity. Well, someone in Hollywood was like, “hey, let’s remake Lord of the Flies but with an all-girl cast!”
Scott McGehee & David Siegel have made a deal at Warner Bros to write and direct a new version of Lord Of The Flies, based on the iconic William Golding novel. They plan to be faithful to the novel with one major twist: the young students stranded on a remote island who descend into a savage social order will be girls.
“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 behavior 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.”
For the most part, I haven’t had any major opinion about all-female remakes or reimaginings of films. But this is a ridiculous idea. The theory that schoolgirls would behave identically to schoolboys if left in the same situation is … bad science, it’s bad anthropology, it’s bad psychology, it’s bad literary interpretation, it’s bad gender studies. While a group of girls would structure a mini-society using tactics of bullying and shaming (which is how groups of female friends operate at that age), anthropological data of all-female societies shows us that for the most part, they are better organized and peaceful. The point of Lord of the Flies is that man’s inherent nature is savage, toxic and violent. Douchebro Hollywood writer/producers were like “but what about toxic femininity?” That’s not a thing, douchebros.
Here are the douchebros:
Photos courtesy of MGM, Getty.