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.
This is an absolutely ridiculous Idea…..Can we start making more untold stories….We need more movies like Hidden figures showing strong females. Not made up stupid stores…this is a waste of money and time
THIS. I am so bloody sick of remakes and sequels. TELL ME A NEW GODDAMNED STORY. ITA with you, though, Hidden Figures was amazing. More of that, please!!
It’s so much easier to coast on someone else’s coattail than to create a coat of your own. I’m am up to my back teeth in disgust at all these remakes, and blood and gore shock films (because who needs an actual believable plot in one of those?). “Too hard…what’s rights are up for grab to remake fellas?” “HEY! LORD OF THE FLIES!! EXACT SCRIPT….but wait for it….wait for it…..WITH GIRLS!!” And a bunch of men will stand around in a circle-jerk, congratulating each other on their “brilliance”. SMDH.
Yes please. I’m tired of HW remaking tired content and just sticking women in men’s roles (Ghostbusters and the call for a female James Bond, for example). Give me something new, I know it’s out there!
As long as Hollywood continues to undervalue writers this is what we get. Superheros, remakes, adaptations, retooled foreign films and stupid movies with trite dialog.
Lol. I can’t help but imagine that the douchebro subtext is, “How do we score a pile of cash to produce a pillow fight movie with twins on a tropical island with torn bikinis? Omg, I’ve got it, dude, listen to this.”
THIS IS IT EXACTLY!
Yeah I feel like this is an excuse for some kind of film like that.
You KNOW there will be skimpy outfits. And glamour shots of tanned, half-naked, dirty, sweaty female bodies. Good god.
And there will be plenty of hair pulling and bitch slapping.
and they’ll still be portrayed as pre teens.
I think we’ve done their outline for them 😏
oh for the love of god.
wtf, its 2017, cant we do better with this garbage? We will have to have a garbage culture full of stipid dude bros? I am 100000% done with dude bros and everything they stand for including bad evolutionary psychology, misinterpretation of gender, and probably sexism – this movie is gonna find a way to be totally sexist and probably objectify teen girls.
Yeah this seems like an excuse to film scantily dressed teenage girls cat-fighting or whatever. There’s a fascinating story to be told about a society of teen girls left on an island, but I have no faith that these dudes can tell that story.
I agree. Let’s have this told by a female writer and a female director if anything!!
Toxic femininity is real. See TayTay Swifty or Nagini Trump.
But Lord Of the Flies doesn’t fit that. Mean Girls does.
Exactly. And we don’t need a remake of that, either.
RIGHT?! What are these girls going to do? Torment each other to death?
That’s not toxic femininity, that’s internalized patriarchy which pits women against each other for the benefit of men. So that goes right back to toxic masculinity.
Thanks for taking away women’s agency.#lookwhatyoumademedo
Angel, ?? I don’t know if I understand.
Its not taking away agency to say that women are brought up and internalize the same toxic and masculine focused norms.
It would be taking away agency to say all those women are like that because of their fathers.
“that’s internalized patriarchy which pits women against each other for the benefit of men.” Exactly. Sometimes when other women bring this topic up the knee-jerk reaction is “Well then SHE’S the problem!” or some other defensive response, and the reason for that defensiveness is valid. But there’s a difference between acknowledging the fact that under patriarchy, women are (often successfully) socialized to be insecure about certain things and lash out by treating each other Deplorably in ways that benefit the worst men and contribute to all the oppression and violence we discuss, vs. the lazy and sexist “All women are naturally catty hateful jealous bichez out to destroy eachother. Men are so much better” narrative.
EXACTLY. Without the attention and adjacent power of men in play, much of what (modern women, at least) fight about is moot.
When we women say we want more stories about women, our lives and friendships – THIS WAS NOT WHAT WE MEANT.
Also, wanna bet the girls will be a few years older, and wearing those little skirts? Which they’ll have to tear up for bandages and such.
What fresh hell is this?
I’m WITH you sixer!!! I HATE THIS WHOLE THING!
First of all, No.
Second of all, all men writing for all girl cast? OH YEAH THAT”S GOING TO BE GREAT!!!
This is making me so mad. They basically just want to make a film so they can
A) Point to it and go “SEE THE WOMENS ARE JUST AS BAD”
B) Show scantily clad pre-teens
C) Remake a film that I already have no desire to see again because it was so disturbing the first time around (poor piggy 🙁 )
I HAVE EVERY THING ABOUT THIS!!!!!
Checked twitter; feeling better. So much gold:
imagine having such little interest in seeking out original stories about girlhood by women that you remake LORD OF THE FLIES with girls
– JamesHurleyVEVO (@soalexgoes)
“Lord of the Flies, But With Women, Written by Men”
That’s my exact level of hell. Thanks for that, media.
— Sabrina NaNo Witch (@introvertedwife)
In the all fem Lord Of The Flies remake the girls just talk out their problems. It lasts 10 mins.
Oh, except Becky, they kill that bitch.
— Sithis Plays😀 (@SithisPlays)
We’re literally living an all-male “Lord of the Flies” right now, but sure, let’s see two male writers describe how women would be worse.
— Charles Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer)
The Lord of the Flies movie feels like a studio had a big jar of “Make with Chicks?” ideas & just picked the one that made the least sense.
— Sam (@unegrandefemme)
I actually can’t wait to see what they do. Interesting to think about. Girls can be brutally cruel at those ages.
They are not though. Like Kaiser said: Its men who are inherently violent and savage. Women are not.
I don’t know if I agree with that. Meg Abott, Gillian Flynn, and other women writers consistently put out work about females being violent. Specifically teenage girls. We don’t have to look too far in the news even to see cliques being violent. Serena McKay’s murder was an example of this, the slender man stabbings, etc…
So while it’s true men have more of a biological tendency to be aggressive, women can also do that and I think the lack of female aggression can probably be tied in to (biology aside) patriarchal oppression and how we’we “supposed” to act compared to men.
All of that being said, Lord of the Flies is not a good showcase for this due to its commentary on toxic masculinity. There are plenty of other books that an be adapted that shows the violence of girls at that age.
@faye I agree. I’m not keen on the movie idea but I do think that some groups of girls can be violently savage and cruel, just like the group of boys in the novel: as well as the cases you mentioned the two that I instantly thought of were the murders of Angela Wrightson and Reena Virk.
Nope. Its nonsense. You wont find female communities who are violent or female politicians who wage war like male politicians do. If you want to mention Thatcher: She functioned in a male dominated society. Exclude men from society and its going to be equal and peaceful.
“Exclude men from society and its going to be equal and peaceful.”
And we’d all still be crapping outside, living in huts, and dropping dead from disease and the elements. Yes, men are inherently aggressive and malcontent. That’s why most violence emanates from men. It’s also why we have automobiles. It takes a man to look at a horse and buggy and say “Not fast enough. I can do better.” Men have a desire to explore, conquer, innovate, and achieve that women just do not. Overall, that desire has served civilization quite well.
Megan: What a load of BS. There are countless inventors who are women. There are countless men who are violent. With just women we will still have inventions but no violence.
Other Megan here. Please don’t confused me the Megan stuck in another century.
“It’s also why we have automobiles. It takes a man to look at a horse and buggy and say “Not fast enough. I can do better.” Men have a desire to explore, conquer, innovate, and achieve that women just do not.”
Oh what a lot of crap Megan. The only reason men have been able to innovate like that is because they didn’t have all of society forcing them to stay home, marry their father’s best friend and die in childbirth. As soon as women have had the opportunity they have been every bit as innovative and fearless as men.
@Faye– I totally agree. This could be cool.
really? You want to see a group of MEN decide how a group of GIRLS would act? You don’t see any inherent problem with that at all?
It would be an interesting story — but it’s not the one told in Lord of the Flies. They can’t stay true to the novel when they change its foundation. One of my kids read this last school year so it’s fresh in my mind. There is just no way any good can come of this.
@CharlieBouquet I agree. I was a teacher in school to boys and girls from age 11 to 19. Teenage girls are way more brutal and devious in their little evil plans to take down anyone who is a threat to their position as the Queen Bee. I witnessed my share of psychopathic behaviour that chilled me to the bone.
Boys are more straightforward mostly when they want to take you down. The schemes I saw girls pull off were simply Machiavellian.
It would be interesting if it was handled correctly? There are tons of toxic female archetypes to explore, but I have zero trust the two will get it. Especially if it’s going to be a direct gender switch with the events staying the same. That goes from interesting to awful.
I feel like Sofia Coppola would actually do this well, she’s examined female interpersonal drama before.
But everyone would be blonde and pale and i would be bored so quickly if Coppola did it.
I’d say Bigelow maybe, oe Duvernay, or Jenkins because I love her. Even Sam Taylor Johnson would be much better than these two nitwits.
nope. nope nope. Lord of the Flies was one of my favorite books growing up – this is ridiculous. maybe it’s going to be all-female because it’s some kind of soft core porn? lol
The children in Lord of the Flies are pre pubescent. Absolutely disgusted by this.
Roxane Gay said it best in this tweet:
An all women remake of Lord of the Flies makes no sense because… the plot of that book wouldn’t happen with all women.
9:30 PM – 30 Aug 2017
I’m only here to say that I forgot Balthazar Getty played the lead in the original movie. I totes remember having a crush on him when we watched it in middle school. Now, not so much.
I was just talking to my son about the strides Western Civilization has made over the past few decades (yes, even including Trump — I see him as a last-gasp attack from the Ugly Americans of the 20th century). This film would ignore all of that. If girls were marooned on an island today they wouldn’t set up a new religion or establish hazing rituals, because that isn’t what they know. It would be a completely different story. And these two aren’t the ones to tell it.
Very lazy idea.
Can’t wait for the all-female version of “the usual suspects.”
LOL. Kaley Soze.
How about the all female The Big Lebowski. I would dig it. (no)
How about Fight Club? There are so many ridiculous ideas. Leave it to HW to find them. HW truly is the best and worst of us.
They are so obtuse sometimes. Who thought this was a good idea?
Band of Brothers, anyone?
2 hours of girl fighting, as told by men? Can’t wait for that one…….
My favorite is told by men. Admit a bit curious at what these men think, but it sounds to me like they are sticking with the book, which means they missed the meaning of the book. Their High School English teacher would not be proud.
Big Brother 19 is nearing its finale on CBS. Watch it for a look at the behavior both men and women are capable of. It’s an eye opener.
But the inclusion of men in Big Brother completely negates the question of how girls would act if stranded without adults OR males. It inserts the issue mentioned above regarding patriarchy: where girls learn to behave in ways that will gain attention from or the approval of boys. Because we live in a patriarchal society where males have more power and their opinions are more highly valued.
My middle school son was just assigned this book, much to my apprehension. I listened to Golding’s intro to the audiobook. He discusses his reason for writing Lord of the Flies in 1952 — and why he didn’t include girls. Girls, he said, would add the potential for sex and that would complicate everything. It would no longer be a book solely about how boys might instinctually behave without rules or society — and their capacity for violence and cruelty.
I highly recommend the book “Inside the Magic Shop” by James Doty, MD, a respected neuroscientist who has researched how the instinct for cruelty can be transformed into compassion. THOSE are the kinds of stories now we need now. Doty was raised in poverty and his life was changed by the owner of a magic shop who expressed compassion and concern for him, and delight at seeing him visit. Research in that area became his life’s work. His results have been astounding and very hopeful.
No one asked this.
those two guys are “well, actually” in human form.
Sure, they can make it.
As long as they make an all guys version of Steel Magnolias. I can’t wait to see who they get to play Ouiser.
William Golding was deeply disturbed by man’s inhumanity to man, as witnessed by him during WWII. A remake of this kind would twist his important themes and messages beyond recognition, and at a time when we need to understand more than ever what he was trying to tell us.
Girls at that age can be mean and aggressive. They are just different from boys.
My bullies were girls and it wasn’t just verbal it was physical sometimes and it was vicious. They enjoyed tormenting me just because I looked funny and I had a very gentle nature. Absolutely no mercy and threats to do awful things to me if I told anyone. I had stress headaches and anxiety all the time. They finally went too far and my parents found out people lost their jobs and the legal system became involved. But that is when girls live in a male dominant society with all the malignant conditioning that comes with it.
I just don’t think two men would ever be able to understand our minds. The girls would not have male influences around which would drastically change their behavior. There might be a leader, but she would be chosen for pragmatic reasons and not brute power. It would be a society of girls building a society free of misogyny. Roles would be based on skills with a focus on community. How could they capture the maternal undertones in close relationships when they have never felt that?
Bad idea. If it gets made it will be interesting to see what they do and how we react.
But only a woman could tell that story.
Girls can be absolutely horrid too. They buy into the same toxic norms guys do.
I very much agree that only a woman could tell this story.
I am convinced that is totally true.
Our worst impulses toward one another have to do with male dominance. The hardest struggle with my own feminism is not always recognizing the root of a belief or thought. I know it is my thought but it can take time to understand where it came from.
It would be interesting to see a movie like that.
I think we all react and sometimes those reactions are coming from being taught a certain thing, even unconsciously. Its in mens best interest that women fight over them, like they are some sort of finite goods. Taking away that angle of competition, that would be interesting.
I’d love to see that deconstructed as they are removed from the influences of culture and adults. I think it could be incredibly interesting, but it would be really hard to do well.
I spent nine years as an atheist in Catholic school. The girls were the bullies, the guys were fun head bangers. Those little shytes made me cry. Called me monkey and Eddie Munster because of my widows peak. So I was just speaking my reality.
I know your pain. I was called Alien Freak or Albino Girl because I was a beanpole with big feet, tall, with big light colored eyes, long neck and my hair and eyelashes were so pale. I tried squinting but no dice. I thought I was the ugliest person who ever lived. I see pictures now and I was a little gawky but I wasn’t ugly. But they made me think I was.
Girls can get mean at that age but the oldest character is what 11-12? And some others are quite young like 5-7. I just think marooned on an island they’d band together, sure the oldest/ meanest would probably be the leader but it would not be reduced to chaos and anarchy like the original text.
I bet they write them older though so the oldest is 16-17 and the young are 13-14. Dude bros writing for preteens would fair to difficult, plus how could the camera linger uncomfortably on them unless they’re older?
Stop remaking things!
And that was before SM magnolia! I shudder to think what it would be like today. Long fly the freak flag! I will never forget this one day a boy passed me a note that said please don t cry, you are beautiful and kind, they are not. Tarek from Morroco. Kept that note till my 20s. Sentimental ninny lol.
that is pretty much the most adorable thing i’ve ever heard. no wonder you kept it. i would still have it to this day.
I missed this. That is very sweet and kind. Like detritus says no wonder you kept it.
As a fellow Freak, I know why you kept it. In the middle of the hurt and humiliation, someone took the time to see your worth and offer empathy and hope.
It isn’t an accident you remember it and his name even now.
*sniff* Tarek the hero. Wherever he is I hope life treated him well.
Lord of the Flies with girls? It’s called Mean Girls. Or rather, Mean Girls, AMPLIFIED FIVE MILLION.
I’m all for re-imagined adaptations of books/films especially of classic source material.
Will not condemn until i see the result.
Not bothered by gender swopping.
Some classic tales have been reimagined and or gender swopped to fabulous effect eg Swanlake ballet. And every re-imagined Shakespeare.
Real life all-female communities are peaceful and only see violence from men trying to shut them down.
Exactly. All those MRA talking points about how women are violent are reallly disturbing.
So we’ll get cattiness and “Not Like Other Girls” archetypes. Hooray.
Changing the gender ENTIRELY MISSES THE POINT. But okay.
I have three older sisters. I already known what Lord of the Flies plays out like with females….
All I have to say is that I can’t wait for the Ocean’s Eight movie.
No. SIT! Stay.
Same time line? Because marooned females in 2017 would be a comedy.
Bahhhaaa. Melissa McCarthy And Kate Mcinon (sp?) for female Big Lebowski. But who would be the dude? I vote Whoopie.
I would actually go see it.
OMG, have they seriously run that far out of ideas? Which all-female remakes have been a hit so far? Ghostbusters? Um, nope.
I really like their movie What Maisie Knew. But I’m not sure we need this.
Eh, it sounds like a crap idea for a film, but I’m somewhat bemused at the idea that girls in the same situation would behave better.
I went to an all-girls boarding school. It was basically Lord of the Flies, from the competing factions to the weird paranoia to the mob mentality. It was violent and sadistic and wildly chaotic, and only just held together by the teachers and structure of school. Dumped on an island…we totally would have started killing each other immediately.
I hear you Kate. My first teaching job (yes I am crazy) was in a boarding school like that and the pressure and duties that were put on me to keep the peace were astounding and almost broke me at the core.
P.S. The student housing had one house for both girls and boys. The drama was neverending, every schoolyear someone did not get pregnant was a celebration. (you can not keep an eye on a teenager 24/7)
I no longer work there.
During my last year when one of the students physically assaulted another one, we had a discussion with one class about it and I said “this is not right, this is like “Lord of the Flies””. My students agreed with the parallel. How sad.
Ho hum. Another day, another white privileged male Hollywood duo who’s going to mansplain feminism and womanhood to me. I’ll just act accordingly and not bother spending my money on this and encourage others not to see it until things start changing. I’m done giving my money to the Hollywood machine and I’ll spend that elsewhere in foreign and POC markets instead.