Deadline reports that a female version of Lord of the Flies is in development.
This is yet another case of Hollywood having such little originality that it needs to resort to making gender-bent versions of previous films.
They could cast women as lead roles in original films with female protagonists.
They could adapt originally female-centric stories.
Instead, they’ve decided to take an originally male-led story and recast it with women.
This is hopefully just foolishness as opposed to a more sinister agenda.
The screenwriters are Scott McGehee and David Siegel.
They wrote The Deep End (2001) starring Tilda Swinton and What Maisie Knew (2012) starring Julianne Moore.
Both of those are adaptations of female-led stories.
They’ve proven they can do it and that it can be done.
They did not feel the need to change the genders of those stories’ (female) characters when adapting them.
Why is Lord of the Flies different?
Surely this is some kind of double standard?
Deadline’s report claims that McGehee and Siegel are fans of the novel but want it to be “contemporized”.
What they don’t explain is why that requires the characters’ genders to be changed.
A “contemporized” adaptation would be set in the modern day.
To suggest that such a version requires the characters’ genders to be changed suggests that it instead is contemporizing its politics.
But why does that mean rewriting a story published in 1954?
That is not “contemporary”.
Changing the present does not mean changing the past.
Siegel is quoted as wanting “to do a very faithful adaptation of the book”.
Changing the genders of the characters is not “very faithful” at all.
Siegel also says that “it is a timeless story”.
But it’s not.
Lord of the Flies is inspired by private boys schools in Britain.
That’s very specific to its time period.
Historical documents are not fairy-tales.
I’ll stick to the 1963 film version written and directed by Peter Brook.